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gravgrav

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Reply with quote  #1 
When at gravel worlds the word was the DK has sold out to Lifetime Fitness.  Overheard it from some pretty reliable sources so seems legit.  Kind of makes sense with some of the wording on their last couple marketing emails talk about "changes" coming and the DK promoters being at Leadville while none of them raced it.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wondering on what changes will happen? Have to say I have never heard of Lifetime Fitness? Is that just in the Mid West or Nationwide?


Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #3 
Nothing is posted on the  Lifetime Fitness web site.  This said they now have an outdoor cycling events  listing that states:  "New competitive cycling events are added throughout the year and around Life Time’s many community areas."

So Jim might have sold out, might not have.  WE shall see.  Interesting. 

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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #4 
Lifetime Fitness is a national corporation just like LA Fitness.  I just saw a message that stated that the cost for DK next year is not going up and that the field will be limited to what is was last year.  But it's early and much can change between now and Jan.  
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #5 

posts like this remind me of a Simpson's episode

"I heard a witch lives there."
"I heard a Frankenstein lives there."
"
You guys are way off. It's a secret lab where they take the brains out of zombies and put them in the heads of other zombies to create a race of super-zombies!"

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Dwillis

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Reply with quote  #6 
  Lifetime Fitness has been a sponsor of the Leadville Race Series for several years.  They've been involved with some high profile cycling events.
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CrankShaft

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Reply with quote  #7 
I don't really have any feelings one way or the other if Lifetime acquires Dirty Kanza.  Although, it seems like a race between Lifetime and Ironman to acquire large athletic events.  I have done events by both, and of the two, I much prefer Lifetime.  

I started racing Lifetime events in 2005 with their Minneapolis Triathlon, and more recently I race two of their MTB events nearly every year (Lutsen 99er and Chequamegon), as well as Leadville 100 MTB.  I will say this - they know how to put on an event.  They have honed their skills, and they excel at event organization and participant communication - they cover everything.

I did Dirty Kanza for the first time this year.  They put on a spectatcular event as well, and I have already booked my Emporia hotel for 2019 (in hopes that I get in).  

I know that some people do not like large events, but when I spend money for events (reg. fees, travel, hotels, food, time off work, etc.) it is comforting to know that the people running the event have nearly everything covered, and the event runs smoothly.  Based on my experience with Lifetime, I do not think this would detract from Dirty Kanza.



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GHC

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Reply with quote  #8 
Agree with ya Crank.

IF rumor is true, if lifetime is buying it, they will be hoping to run it well and grow top and bottom line.  Hopefully they will if true, they will be incented to, as they put up the cash if true.  

Agree ... well run events are worth something (how much? ... well that's up to each), particularly if you have a lot invested to get there.   Nothing worse than training your tail off and travelling to find chaos.

Big events, medium sized events, small events....buy outs of larger events ... more organized teams showing up, more talent showing up, more and larger team tactics at the front, increasing lame (gravel defined) riding behavior in some instances, more and more Rules at large events, more attention given to non racing fan experience at large events..... more, more, more are the natural course of things in a growing sport.   

While some may fear change and/or view this as an opportunity to dog on the DK, like you, I do not .... there will continue to be numerous opportunities to find value as determined by the user,  and/or the type of race/ride an individual is looking for.   Plenty of grass root event opportunities, and continuing to grow.   

While I do expect the feel of the larger events to continue to change towards a more roadie vibe and tendencies......and I expect the meaning of "We are Gravel Riders" in a general sense to unfortunately (imo) change somewhat, it'll be fine as ......   

None of this will stop me from having fun on gravel, none of this will hinder my ability to find great people to ride with, and at the end of the day folks can vote with their feet/choose not to attend any event if they hold a different view.   It's all good.   Most are out there riding for the joy of suffering with other like minded folks and competing mostly against themselves anyway, for the experience, no podium in sight ..... as I am.   

Some folks will still get all balled up if this is true though.    Meh ... Live and Let Live.... imo





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thumper88

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Reply with quote  #9 

It's the way of the world so it's hard to get too wound up about it.
It's fully understandable that the folks who built it were about ready to move on -- it looks all-consuming to organize it, especially if you look at the careful follow-through they undertook with so many aspects of, it, like the cleanup of the course a couple of weeks after the event. It would flat wear me out in one year, let alone a decade.

That said, the long-time organizers are stitched into the community and mindful and respectful of the feelings of the folks in town and along the course in a way that an out of town owner, no matter how good, or wise, couldn't be.
The organizers live with, and know these people... They are the same people. They are neighbors, and the how much the race folks care about the ranchers, farmers, shop keepers, kids, college, everyone... is palpable and heartfelt.

Anyone who was there this year at the rider's meeting and start, and saw the central role, and honor paid, to the family of a rancher who was supportive of the ride, even though it had caused him problems early on, would know this to be fact, and would know how crucial these interpersonal relationships are to the health and continued success of the event.

The race IS damn well run. But...The best part of the race is the Emporia locals, hands down, and the race needs to keep them happy so that they not only are happy to be getting the boost to the economy, but are happy and being themselves when all us out of town yahoos descend every year and turn things inside out for three or four days.
They are great people and I want this to remain a positive experience for them, too.

The new owners would be wise to pay Jim whatever it takes to stay on in a central role, if he will do it.

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CrankShaft

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Reply with quote  #10 
From what I have seen, Lifetime does a good job of retaining the founding people and local relationship.

Ken and Merilee are still the faces of Leadville, and the Leadville races still heavily engage to the local community and provide scholarships to local students.

Chequamegon is another good example of how Lifetime has embraced the local communities of Hayward and Cable Wisconsin. They promote area trails year-round, and encourage people to visit throughout the year (I get emails and Facebook posts throughout the year from the Chequamegon race crew). The race starts at 10:00am in downtown Hayward, and the streets are packed with locals watching and screaming (just like the DK start and finish). I know that my wife (and many, many others) has helped the local Hayward economy by shopping while I am raving.
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #11 
CrankShaft,

As someone who lives in Hayward and works with someone involved in the CFTF, they (Lifetime) have it as top priority to work with the local community. Not only is it good for Lifetime's business because it seems a full community event, it's great for the community because it does affect many. So, based on what I've experienced, Lifetime does try to get the entire community involved. And, thank you to your wife for helping with some shopping in Hayward. We appreciate it and welcome all the visitors. 

- Ben
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GHC

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Reply with quote  #12 
Small world Mod.   Mr Sykes taught me to ski at Mogasheen.
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joukoh

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Reply with quote  #13 
It's now official....

https://dirtykanza.com/new-dirt/exciting-news-for-dirty-kanza/



Jouko
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mongoosepower

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Reply with quote  #14 
I'm just glad it's not Ironman. And that Jim will still be at the helm. 

Waiting to see what will happen to prices (especially the XL), I suppose.
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #15 
GHC, 

Cool. We were up there during the 4th with some friends. 
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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #16 
So, what does Lifetime gain from buying out DK?  How do they profit?  Emporia is a very small market so there are no memberships to gain there.  But, really, how does Lifetime profit from owning ANY cycling event?  Please explain!
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekJ_MI
So, what does Lifetime gain from buying out DK?  How do they profit?  Emporia is a very small market so there are no memberships to gain there.  But, really, how does Lifetime profit from owning ANY cycling event?  Please explain!


I am guessing since DK is drawing riders from all over the USA that they are hoping to get some memberships from those riders. It probably is a better way to draw in members than say newspaper or radio ads as these people are into fitness. Just a guess and there has to be some money made on this event. Curious if the sag to hire programs and the like will go thru them?


Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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GHC

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Reply with quote  #18 
DerekJ_MI

RE What does Lifetime get? How will Lifetime profit?

These events make money, that in itself is a reason some investors, or Lifetime in this case, would buy it.  The trick is estimating how much money an event can or will make, for how long, and if their involvement adds value....and identifying the risk in the estimates.   The hard part is typically turning estimates into realities.  Those that do it well, win.

Beyond that, Lifetime spends money on advertisement and marketing every year to attract membership and other interest.  The event has advertising and marketing value, in a number of ways.  It's not about Emporia membership.  

Right or wrong for them?  Good or bad investment?   Time will tell.   While there are no guarantee's in life, and they may fail, it's not their first rodeo. https://www.eventsbylifetime.com/
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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #19 
Money, yes that's what I thought.  These events, and all events with high registration fees, make money.  Enough money that someone is willing to bet that they can make much more money than what Jim and friends are making.  After it's all said and done I'm thinking that Lifetime will be making north of $250,000K off this event alone.  It's just a shame that the participant doesn't get a good value for what they pay.  And I suppose as long as there is a lottery to get in there is no incentive to charge less.  I wonder what the future will hold.  Where the limit on entry fees will be.  Not just for DK but all these type of events. Iconic ones.  I sure hope the new organization will allow more folks to ride it, more swag, maybe support and naturally lower costs?  They do have a nice thing going and I'd hate to see this event and others like it get over priced so that it kills itself.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #20 
Since I never really looked into this race a lot what were the fees?

$200 to get into the 200 mile?

what was the sag support fees

what was the cost to stay at the dorms?

I guess if the fees go up somebody will be saying that here?

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #21 
Yes it's $200 to get in.  Support is $75.  For me, with travel from MI, and all the other expenses I spent around $850 +/-.  So far the fees for 2019 have not increased.  But that was before Lifetime bought it out.  We shall see come January when the lottery opens.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekJ_MI
Yes it's $200 to get in.  Support is $75.  For me, with travel from MI, and all the other expenses I spent around $850 +/-.  So far the fees for 2019 have not increased.  But that was before Lifetime bought it out.  We shall see come January when the lottery opens.


What is the price to get in the dorms as I heard at races that was much cheaper than hotels?

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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GHC

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Reply with quote  #23 
Speaking solely about the financial side of this event, the #1 thing the DK has going for it currently, is that it sells out well before the event.   This essentially takes a huge chunk of the weather and initial capital risk out of it for the player organizing the event, it largely self finances itself. Weather is the #1 risk on outdoor events, and it's expensive to insure against, if at all.  In this case, they don't need the insurance .... the financial downside risk is currently covered by early sale of tickets, and that early equity finances the event.....this is huge for them.   (It's also huge for the city...people are more likely to show up if their money is already down).   Master of the obvious I know, just saying.

If I was running it, I wouldn't expand allowed entries too much, if any, for this reason.  From a financial perspective, I would want to keep the rush to purchase early intact.  The tipping point is a fine line.  If the lottery doesn't sell out, or as soon as winning lottery tickets are consistently available at significant discounts (allowing riders to wait and gauge their endurance level or weather with no penalty)...the game changes.   It's up to them to decide how far to push it. 

At any rate, in some instances, the cap on riders/expected crowd is driven by the host city and facilities that many don't consider (like peak water, waste water, and law enforcement and emergency personnel capacity and the like, particularly in small towns/low population counties); but I digress.   

One thing I would do, if they haven't already, is guarantee the top 3-5 riders in each category an available spot the following year or two or three (provided they pay their entry fee lol).  I would want to continue to attract the big dogs/maintain the perceived status of the race. They may already allow for this, idk, I am not one of them lol.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #24 
GHC I don't think this is the case as I thought I saw one of the top riders from previous years didn't get in. Don't know his name but he was on publicity/front page or something like that for the ride/race.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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GHC

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Reply with quote  #25 
Think it was Colin. could be wrong

(Btw z.....respectfully sir...some have negatively popped off on the Dk before, no worries, everyone has a right to opinion, including interested spectators/fans, after all, the major sports have make a killing from enthusiastic fans, respectfully, here is my opinion, imo people should ride B4 judging value, or not, it’s a free country....back to off topic.....i’v said it once, i’ve said it 100 times, but not to you, imo, if you want value and a good time and wanna suffer a 10k climb 150 gravel ’with others suffering for fun...U need to ride gravel worlds!)

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