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Meet Mark Hayes of Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Hayes.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mark. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started riding mountain bikes in the early 90’s while working on building a fiber optic business. With the help of my business partners (my father, sister and business friend), we had great success building the business through the high-tech boom of the 90’s. As the fiber optic business grew so did my passion for riding and racing bikes.

In 2000 during the peak of the boom we sold the company and split the earnings. In July of 2003 I took my newly earned capital and bought the defunct Highlands Mountain Ski Area in Northfield, NH. With the help of an amazing team we turned a lost and forgotten ski area into a World Class Bike Park.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No it has not been a smooth road but the passion I have for the sport continues to win over the struggles. Highland has changed the lives of many people from young kids, moms and dads to some of the best athletes in the world and everyone in-between. The satisfaction of being one of the early pioneers in the Bike Park business and witnessing it change lives most definitely drives me.

A guy came up to me one day to show me his new tattoo and when I saw the Highland logo covering a large patch of real-estate on his forearm I got nervous and realized there’s no turning back. How could I ever let this guy down if Highland doesn’t make it how could I let so many people down? So failure isn’t an option but whether I like it or not the struggles will continue.

Financial struggles top the list. Building renovations, trail construction, payroll, a continuous list of other expenses and many years of losses tore into my bank account. I took a risk on a business during a time when Bike Parks were almost unheard of all because of a passion. Now the company does turn a profit and the road is a bit smoother but the struggles don’t go away. Employee issues, mechanical breakdowns at the worst possible moment, Computer clichés, worker comp claims, criminals, bad weather, are just a few of the others and all part of being in business.

Highland Mountain Bike Park – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Highland Mountain Bike Park is a lift access Bike Park located in Northfield, NH. We are a training and trails brand 100% dedicated to biking. So essentially we build trails and we teach people how to ride them.

We are known for our cool vibe in a setting that offers trails and training programs for every level of rider.

I’m most proud that we are recognized as leaders in the industry and that our team is highly respected.

About 3 years ago I started a trail design, construction and maintenance company called Highland Trails. Our team is now building trails and teaching people how to develop Bike Parks.

The fact that the Highland brand is 100% dedicated to biking sets us apart from all the others.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Is a series of steps that ends when you give up. For me personally it’s about how I choose to deal with each step of the lifelong journey whether it’s’ family, my own personal health or my business. Knowing that giving up is not an option. Coping with the ups and downs, making mistakes, fixing mistakes, learning, getting better at one thing to conquer another while maintaining what I already have.

Specific to business and Highland it would be each new day we’re still in business, every new, happy customer, being part of a team that is making an impact by helping to lead an industry that could see substantial growth for years to come and changing lives for the better.

Markers in business: Meeting or exceeding financial forecast, reviewing marketing dashboard for trends in camp sales, rider visits, growth of the family demographic, tracking trends in recurring customer visits and conversion. Landing the next Bike Park client, writing Master Plans, designing and building Bike Park trails, teaching the next trail builder. Being a part of the next successful Bike Park.

Pricing:

  • Find Your Ride – All inclusive package = $109.00
  • 3 Pack version of the Find Your Ride = $289.00

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Highland Mountain Bike Park

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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