NEW - Added bonus for backers who pledge (or have pledged) $200 or more:
10% off all future pass purchases at The Yard until Jan 1st, 2021
NEW - Customize the number of passes you purchase in the Kickstarter:
- Example 1 - if you pledge for the $200 reward, which is 10 passes at $20 each, you could add 5 more passes at the $20 rate for a total pledge of $300
- Example 2 - if you pledge for the $66 reward (3 passes at $22 each) and would like to up your pledge a bit but not to the $200 level, you could add 2 more passes at the $22 rate for $110
These are examples - pledge any dollar amount you want and we will give the corresponding number of passes.
Website and Socials
- Website: www.theyardottawa.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheYardOttawa
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/theyardottawa
- Twitter: twitter.com/theyardottawa
What is The Yard?
The Yard is the indoor bike and skate park that Ottawa has been waiting for!
- The Yard is for play
- The Yard is for practice
- The Yard is for progression
- The Yard is for friends
- The Yard is for family
- The Yard is for fitness
- The Yard is for bikes, skateboards and scooters
- The Yard is for you
Whether you are a rider who wants to improve your bike handling skills, a skateboarder who wants a place to skate in the winter, an expert BMXer looking to perfect that next trick, a scooter rider who wants to get to the next level or a parent looking for somewhere safe for your kids to have fun and get exercise, The Yard is for you. Catering to bikers, skateboarders and scooter riders of all levels, The Yard will be the place to be next winter.
I'm a long-time rider and I feel that Ottawa needs an indoor park. I've been working with skaters, riders and Ottawa bike/skate/scooter shops to design a park that has something for everyone. We're ready to get moving on this project but need to confirm that Ottawa is behind us. Just choose a pledge on the right side of the page (or the Rewards link above, if you are on a mobile device) that represents your level of support for the park.
- Think you'd come pretty regularly? Buy a 10 pack of passes at special Kickstarter only pricing.
- Have a whole house of park shredders? The family pack of passes is for you.
- Live out of town but love indoor parks and want to show your support? We even have an option for you.
Remember - if we don't reach our funding goal, you don't get charged (like all Kickstarters) but we wouldn't have gone to all this trouble if we thought that was likely. As long as we meet our funding goal, this park WILL happen next winter and, based on feedback from our survey, this is a very realistic goal. The more passes we sell, the bigger a turnout we can expect for the park which in-turn allows us to commit to a better space. Better space means a better park. We are ready to get the park open for next winter, now it's up to you to show that Ottawa is behind The Yard.
The draft park designs are based on input from local mountain bikers, BMXer's, skaters and scooter riders as well as feedback from a number of Ottawa shops. We also took into account responses from a survey released to the Ottawa market late 2017. The key design drivers were accessibility and progression - anyone should be able to come in and have fun on day one, while still providing more challenging options throughout the park.
The Yard will have a number of wooden features, including:
- Pump Track
- Jump Line
- Foam Pit and Resi-mat
- Street Section
A Pump Track is made up of smooth rollers and berms that can be ridden without any pedaling. The rider "pumps" the rollers and berms to gain speed. Anyone who has ridden a well-made pump track will tell you that they are super fun, amazing exercise and develop skills that transfer to any type of riding.
The Yard's pump track will be designed and built so that:
- Novice riders can get around the track safely while trying to minimize their pedal strokes
- Intermediate riders can improve their timing, efficiency and speed without pedalling and can work on their jumping, as we've incorporated some beginner jumps into the pump track
- Advanced riders can keep progressing by finding new rollers to jump and different sections to manual (riding on back wheel only).
Regardless of skill level, everyone can keep working on their speed and flow and will have a chance to test themselves during organized pump track challenges. The pump track may have a BMX gate or two for races and a timing clock to track personal bests or race against your friends.
Pump tracks are typically made for bikes but are equally fun on scooters. We may have a skateboarder or two who want to give it a go.
For a flyover of the draft pump track design, see the video below:
A jump line is just what it sounds like - a succession of jumps that flow one after another. While they can be intimidating for riders who aren't used to jumps, once you learn them, you'll be hooked. Even the smallest bit of air feels amazing. Link a couple of jumps together and your view of riding will change forever. Not only will you look at jumps differently but features on trails, speed bumps on the street and other small obstacles and irregularities wherever you ride become opportunities to fly.
Since our pump track has small jump options to learn on, our jump lines will focus on intermediate jumps and advanced jumps. Jumps will be table tops with rounded lips for landings to make "casing" (catching your back wheel on the back end of the jump) a bit less jarring and save your rear wheel from extra punishment. This makes learning to jump safe and fun. We've also included some "step-up" jumps on both lines, where the back side of the jump is higher than the front. It's time for Ottawa riders to take flight!
For a flyover of the draft jump line design, see the video below:
Foam Pit and Resi
While plenty of people have learned to jump and do tricks on a jump with a standard dirt or wood landing, you can accelerate your progress with access to a foam pit and resi-mat. Oh, and like everything else that will be in the Yard, they are pretty darned fun. Progression and fun? We think the foam-pit and resi-mat are must-haves.
Foam Pit - The foam pit consists of different jump options with a landing into foam blocks. This lets you try jumping with a guaranteed soft landing. Great for getting comfortable in the air when you first start, increasing amplitude as you progress and working on new tricks, if that's what you are into.
Resi-mat - When you've got yourself pretty dialed in the foam pit but want to make sure you can actually land without the safety net of foam blocks, you move to the resi-mat. The resi-mat is the same as a jump, but instead of the table-top landing and transition being made of wood, it's made with a rubber top sheet with foam underneath. It's a much softer landing than wood so you can practice in the safest way possible.
For a flyover of the resi-mat and foam pit design, see the video below:
Designed with rider input, our street section has a number of features that are fit for newbies and more advanced riders. There are rails, boxes, step ups, hips, flatbars and we've even got a mini-ramp! This section is great for skateboards, bikes and scooters alike. We are pretty stoked about the design. We will keep some features in the street section modular so it can be tweaked day-to-day to accommodate different skill levels, appeal to different street styles and disciplines as well as keep things interesting.
For a flyover of the draft street section design, see the video below:
Finalizing the Design
We are pretty happy with the draft designs as outlined above but your input is needed before they are finalized.
To ensure our Kickstarter backers have had their input before the build starts, we will:
- Conduct several public consultation sessions with a selection of riders, parents, skaters and scooter riders who contribute to this Kickstarter. This will get the design 90% there.
- Send out a short survey so you have a chance to tell us what you think about the design before it's finalized.
- Share design iterations through social media, so you can engage as the design evolves.
The final design will also be dependent on:
Kickstarter funding - the Kickstarter goal is the minimum needed to move ahead with the project. The draft designs assume that we will easily surpass the funding goal (based on the 2017 feedback we received, this shouldn't be a issue) but if support is lower than expected, the designs may need to be scaled down accordingly. On the upside, if we have an unexpectedly successful campaign, that would give us more freedom with the space and design.
Location - Once a lease is signed for a specific location, the designs will likely need to be adjusted to fit within the actual space. The final size, shape, location of posts and bathrooms and even door locations could all have an impact on the final design and build.
City Building Permit - Once the desired design is locked down, we will need to submit it to the City for a building permit. The City may require updates to the design to be in compliance with the building code or to meet other health and safety considerations.
Adjustments During Build - Just because a design looks good on paper doesn't mean it will flow as expected. As we build, we will test and adjust, test and adjust, test and.. well, you get the idea. We're going to make sure our features ride as intended and will make adjustments as needed throughout the build process.
The park will have a number of amenities when you want to rest, relax and eat or a place to hang out if you aren't ready (yet) to ride the park but still want to hangout with your family or friends.
For park downtime, The Yard will offer tables and chairs as well as a variety of quality food and drink options.
Support and Sales
Basic safety equipment (helmets, gloves, pads) will be for sale, tech support will be available if you have any equipment issues, and custom "The Yard" swag will of course be available for sale.
The Yard will offer bike, scooter and skateboard rentals as well as protective gear rentals such as helmets and pads, if you don't have your own.
In addition to general admissions, The Yard will offer summer camps, as well as camps during winter break and March break. Camps will offer both instruction and supervision. There's nothing like being in the park 5 days in a row with an instructor to guide you throughout the day, with friends to cheer you on and well designed features to accelerate your progress.
We will offer birthday parties, so kids and adults alike can spend their special day with friends in their favorite park! Parties will offer a tour of the facility and instruction for riders who are new to the park. They can choose to use a bike, scooter or skateboard (or try a few!).
During off-hours, the park will be available for special events. Want the park for a private session with your friends? Want to hold an industry event? Tired of the same old work functions? Whatever the occasion, we will be happy to work with you to make it great.
The primary rewards for this Kickstarter are for discounted park passes, which can be used during operating hours and will not expire, but we've also included an option for out-of-towners who want to support the Kickstarter.
As added incentive, we've included a few more Kickstarter exclusives:
- Small Founder Sticker: A limited "The Yard - Founder" sticker. Put it on your park riding tool of choice, your lid or your Instant Pot. Show Ottawa that you helped open the park!
- Kickstart The Yard Sticker: An "I Kickstarted The Yard" sticker. This will be a larger "loud and proud" size and perfect for your bumper or the fridge at work.
- Name on Founder Wall: Get your name on our Founders Wall, which will be prominently displayed in the park. We haven't decided on the design for the wall yet but rest assured it won't be a bunch of little brass plaques. Your pledge gets you a whole park to shred AND your name is memorialized for all time.
- Test Ride of the Park: All backers who buy 10 or more passes will be invited to test out the park before it opens to the general public.
Risks and challenges
Leasing a Space - The most significant risk for the project is leasing a space. The park requires a large open space with high ceilings which limits the options. We have already been looking at spaces and have started discussions with landlords for a suitable space. Meeting or exceeding the Kickstarter funding goals will help with the lease negotiations by substantiating our sales estimates. The current sales estimates are based on survey responses but landlords are looking for further validation that the park will be successful and be a reliable tenant. The Kickstarter target was based on feedback from the survey.
City Approval - Before the park can open, The Yard will need a business license from the City. Any space over 33,000 sq-ft (for the zoning in which potential buildings are currently vacant) requires a "minor-variance" from the City which can take a few months and can be denied. If the Kickstarter demand justifies a space greater than 33,000 sq-ft, we will get our application in as early as possible but will still have a contingency plan in place to stay below 33,000 sq-ft, if needed. Our priority is to get a park open next winter and 33,000 sq-ft is enough space for an amazing park.
Build Delays - Once The Yard has taken possession of a space, the build will start. As with any construction project, there is a risk of delays. To mitigate this risk, we will have full designs before the build starts,we already have builders lined up,we already have a good number of community members who have volunteered to help with the build, and we will employ project management best practices - this is what we do for a living when we aren't opening indoor parks.
All of the risks associated with this project are timing related. A lot of thought and effort has already been put into managing these risks so that they are minimized. Once the Kickstarter has ended and our funding goal is reached, we will provide regular updates both through Kickstarter and social media. We want you to see the project progressing in real time. In the event that The Yard runs into a challenge, you'll know what is going on and what we are doing about it as it happens.
If for some unforeseeable reason the park cannot open, all Kickstarter pledges would be refunded.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)