Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved the conceptual master plan for a new cycling-focused park in Fayetteville.
Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain includes 228 acres that the city bought last year using a grant and loan from the Walton Family Foundation. It will include mountain bike, cyclocross and trail running facilities, as well as a variety of other features.
There are currently no active uses on the property, but the land was the site of a temporary cyclocross course used in November for Oz Cross, a national-level race. The mountaintop will also be the site of a UCI C2 cyclocross race in October, and the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships.
The master plan includes a 1.9-mile cyclocross course with a hardened start area, mounds with stairs, a 20mx70m pit and two flyovers.
A 3.6-mile cross country mountain bike course is also included with several steep or technical climbs, a dual slalom section, and rock gravity areas.
Other cycling amenities include over 3 miles of beginner trails, several downhill gravity lines, a gravel “gateway” trail, a 10-foot paved shared-use path, and connections to other nearby trail systems.
The plans also show a performance stage, picnic areas, an adventure playground, a canopy walk, places for hammocks, an open green space for events, permanent paved parking spaces, temporary soft-surface parking areas, and primitive-style campsites.
Brendan Quirk, cycling director of the Runway Group, said Fayetteville will be on the cutting edge when it comes to cyclocross. He said there are only two other permanent cyclocross-specific venues in the United States.
Quirk said the park could reasonably host at least one national or global event every other year, which could lead to a direct economic impact of $1.1 – $2.3 million per event. Attendance, he said, ranges from 1,000-2,000 people for national-level championships, and 3,000-10,000 for world-level events.
Quirk said based on economic models, his team believes that the region as a whole will experience an additional indirect and induced economic impact of $800,000 to $1.6 million per event.