Woolstore elevates service for MTBs

This story was written before the recent restrictions on unnecessary travel, please do not travel unless you need to but consider this information for future travel plans.

Accommodation providers in mountain bike riding meccas like Derby and Maydena cater to rider needs with secure bike parking, washdowns and tools but in other areas of the state rider needs are not often taken into account.

A new player in the mountain bike market is about to change all that and set a precedent for other large accommodation providers.

Hobart’s The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel has launched a new MTB rider accommodation package that includes secure bike storage, washdown station, bike mats and stands for rooms, identified apartments good for riders, and 24 hour sales of tubes and repair kits.

The Hotel’s Sales and Marketing Group Manager and dedicated mountain bike rider, Scott Christie-Johnston, came up with the idea to target bike riders with better facilities and services. 

“We saw the Unordinary Adventures marketing campaign that Tourism Tasmania was developing and it just appealed to us straight away.

“We already get a lot of visitors who are here for the outdoors, mostly walkers but also some bike riders, as we are set up with car parking and spacious apartments with washing machines and are central for food and other experiences.

“At that stage Derby was successful and Maydena Mountain Bike Park had just opened and as a mountain bike rider myself I saw the potential in adding rider-specific services to what we already offer guests.

“It took us a little while to get it up and running as it’s so difficult to get a builder with all the construction going on in Hobart.

“But once we got a construction date, we bought consumables like spare tubes and CO2 cans for the reception desk and bike stands and mats for the rooms. We also took the staff out on mountain bikes to get them familiarised with what riders are doing and what their needs could be.

Top notch bike facilities

“The bike storage room has a capacity of ten bikes, with four fat tyre and six normal tyre racks, but we do have room to expand. Importantly the room has CCTV coverage on the front door and inside, is alarmed, and can only be accessed with identified room keys and riders can lock their bikes to the racks.

“We wanted to provide a holistic service for guests, which is why we have tools available in the storage room and parts available from reception. For riders coming back into Hobart in the evening after bike shops have shut, we wanted them to be able to fix any problems with their bike and be able to go out riding again first thing in the morning.

“I was keen to do something a bit different with the bike facilities. I met Hobart artist Nathan Grey through MTB riding and so had a chat to him about painting the wall leading into the facilities.

“When he arrived to paint his wall of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, he brought along Jamin, who is a well-known street artist, and he did the aerosol artwork in the washdown station.

The storage room has power points for e-bikes, which Scott says is a growth area of the sport.

Environmental tick

Scott said providing facilities that were environmentally sustainable was an important part of the project.

“I saw the big signs that NRM North had installed at Derby warning riders of the importance of washing down their bikes to stop the spread of disease. So, I reached out to NRM South and they have provided us with posters and information and the best disinfectant to use in the washdown station.

“We are providing water for the washdown station from a new 1500 litre rainwater tank. We may have to supplement this at times in the future, but the roof is a seriously big rainwater capture.

“This is the first time we’ve captured rainwater at the hotel, and it’s turned out to be a good flagship project for us to help our thinking on environmental management,” Scott said.

The other environmentally sustainable feature is a washdown drain that captures the oils, mud and grit from the bike so it can be removed and disposed of rather than going down the drain and into the river. The drain has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Scott said he expects to get visitors who are coming in just to ride Maydena and local trails, as well as others who are sampling all state’s MTB destinations.

“We had some guests last week who used the new facilities. They rode Derby then drove down to ride Maydena and then finished their trip in Hobart with some good food and wine.”

A dedicated page on the hotel’s website covers what the hotel offers, as well as useful information about bike touring and hire options and using the kunanyi/Mt Wellington Explorer bus.

Note: Maydena Bike Park has announced a shutdown but is taking discounted bookings for its opening day on 26 September.