The Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie, after sitting dormant for several years and weathering into dire disrepair, has escaped the wrecking ball. New owners and a cycling nonprofit plan to get the facility back on track for racing, and for broader community events that may even include pickleball.
During a Thursday afternoon news conference at the facility, members of the new ownership group, BBV Holdings, nonprofit Team Colorado Cycling, and an Erie town official shared their vision, and plans, to bring the neglected arena back to former glory, when lights lit up the nighttime sky and competitive racers circled the 250-meter wooden oval track.
“I’m thrilled,” said Todd Stevenson, founder and president of the cycling nonprofit. “It’s a monumental task, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
The steep-pitched, wooden track, topped with 450 sheets of plywood, will need an extreme makeover. Suspect spots on the track are marked up with paint and workers on Thursday were continuing to cut sections as part of the remodel, which will take months. Concrete and electrical work will also be necessary at the velodrome, which has been dormant since the start of the pandemic.
BBV Holdings purchased the property recently for $1 million from previous co-owners Frank Banta and Doug Emerson. The unique track, the only wooden track at altitude in the United States, opened in 2015 with much fanfare and enthusiasm.
Cari Higgins, of BVV Holdings and a former track cycling champion and current board chair of USA Cycling, is among those who are determined to see the velodrome reincarnated.
“It will again be a destination for cyclists” of all ages and abilities, Higgins said.
The shared vision, however, is that cyclists will not be the only people to use the 15,000-square-foot facility. Plans call for concerts, movies, food truck gatherings and perhaps even pickleball tournaments to take place at the velodrome, which has a wide and long flat concrete pad surrounded by the track. In all, the property, which sits on the southern gateway of the Erie town center, is about four acres.
Erie Town Administrator Malcolm Fleming said widespread community involvement will help to fuel the velodrome’s comeback.
“There’s a lot going on in Erie,” Fleming said, noting that the town has grown to a population of 35,000 and that Erie officials are looking to develop a hotel north of the velodrome.
The Erie town board will discuss the velodrome at an upcoming meeting, Fleming said, and town officials are ready to contribute $50,000 to the cycling nonprofit to use in refurbishing the facility.
“We like their approach,” Fleming said of the nonprofit’s multi-use vision. “This will be a symbiotic relationship.”
BVV owns the property and Team Colorado Cycling will run the operations. Stevenson said the nonprofit recently received a $25,000 matching grant. Getting the velodrome back up and running will cost between $70,000 to $100,000, he said.
“It is going to take a lot of people and a lot of money,” Stevenson said.
A GoFundMe page, “Let’s Resurrect the Boulder Valley Velodrome!”, is posted and on Thursday afternoon it had raised $9,640 out of a goal of $75,000.
Plans and work are underway to “revitalize the velodrome to its former glory and move forward beyond your expectations,” the GoFundMe page states.
If all goes well, the velodrome should reopen in early summer.
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