Bailey Mountain Bike Park. Photo by Zhivko Illeief.
Location: Marshall, North Carolina
Years in Business: >1 year
Jobs Created: 5
NCIF Role: Acquisition loan
Sector: Eco-tourism
Partners: The Rural Center Small Business Credit Initiative, The Support Center, Mountain BizWorks

As a family with a passion for mountain biking, when Guy and Jennifer Miller’s son introduced them to downhill (or “gravity”) mountain biking, it was an easy sport for them to get behind. After taking their son to downhill races around the country and getting to know the sport better, they realized that there was a real void for this sport in the Southeast. There was a demand, but nowhere for people to go.

The Opportunity

They decided to open their own downhill mountain biking park outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The biggest challenge was finding the capital to turn their dream of opening their own bike park into a reality. With a background in destination travel and hospitality industry, the Millers were up for the job. But traditional financing was not an option, and that is where the Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) came in.

The Deal

Through our partnerships with The Rural Center’s Small Business Credit InitiativeThe Support Center and Mountain BizWorks, we were able to offer creative financing that allowed the Miller’s to purchase the 140 forested acres--previously slated for development--that would become Bailey Mountain Bike Park.

Impact

These Graham County overnight tourists are valuable: they provide needed tax revenue for the county and jobs for three full-time River’s Edge Treehouse Resort employees.

Visit the Bailey Mountain Bike Park website