110,000 square feet of groomed warehouse space.
110,000 square feet of groomed warehouse space. (Photo: Ray's MTB Indoor Park)
The indoor park catered to people of all types.
The indoor park catered to people of all types. (Photo: Ray's MTB Indoor Park)
Ray's isn't always about big air. It was about developing all types of technical riding skills.
Ray's isn't always about big air. It was about developing all types of technical riding skills. (Photo: Ray's MTB Indoor Park)
Features were improved, renewed, or replaced at the end of each season.
Features were improved, renewed, or replaced at the end of each season. (Photo: Ray's MTB Indoor Park)

Updated: In light of petition, Trek insists they want Ray's MTB to reopen

After it appeared that Ray's MTB Park, 8365 N. 76th St., was near closing, a petition by Wisconsin Freeride Association was floated asking the Wisconsin Bike Fed and Milwaukee County Parks to come together to save it. However Eric Bjorling, a representative of Trek, insisted that they are doing everything they can to keep it open.

"We understand the people's passion for Ray's," said Bjorling.

I reached out to Ray's, Trek Bicycles, Milwaukee County Parks and the Wisconsin Bike Fed. This article has been updated with their responses.

When I asked Dave Schlabowske, the deputy director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed, about the potential purchase of Ray's by the Bike Fed, the outlook was not so good.

"I don't think so," said Schlabowske. "We don't have the kind of resources to purchase something like that. Most of our money is program money, for things like Safe Routes to School or driver's education."

Guy Smith, a representative from Milwaukee County Parks, responded with a quick statement and little hope of being able to honor the petition as well. Smith was familiar with Ray's, but not familiar with the petition. In regards to acquiring the park, they would probably "not have an opportunity to handle something like that."

But Eric Bjorling, a representative from Trek Bicycles projected a brighter future. While no decision has been made, Trek is "working actively to make sure that [closing the Milwaukee location] does not happen" and they see the petition as a positive. "If more people want to kick in, any effort to keep it open would be great."

Among the major reasons for pursuing new ownership and other strategies is that the company does not own the building out of which they operate and finding another building of appropriate size and location is difficult. "Since we don't own the building, it's very difficult to control the future of the park."

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