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roninthorne


Jan 21, 2007, 5:42 PM
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Re: [pornstarr] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Yo, Troy... life's been too busy to get together, so far... sorry about losing you guys so sudden the other pm... dropped phone in closing car door... very handy when you're miles from all your hardcopy phone numbers... thanks for the info.


srhammett


Feb 4, 2007, 6:34 AM
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Re: [roninthorne] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Hi folks. I hadn't been on RC.com in some time, although the powers that be were kind enough to reinstate my privileges last year.

When I saw that there was a thread, I expected some harsh commentary, which obviously hasn't been the case. I really appreciate everyone's courtesy and openmindedness.

I think that everyone who knows us well understands the reasons behind our decision to sell. Please be aware that the future of Nelson as an exemplary climbing area continues to be one of our primary motivations. We have put a great deal of effort into site development directed toward enhancing NRP from a climbing perspective - great minds may differ as to whether we've succeeded - and it's always been my hope that the closure would be temporary.

So, did the meeting take place? If there are any questions for us or information we can provide, please feel free to call us at 304-567-3169, or email me at nelsonrockspreserve@yahoo.com, an account I just set up for this purpose. Also check out the fact sheet on our website at http://www.nelsonrocks.org/sell.pdf.

Best regards and thanks for your interest,

Stu Hammett
Nelson Rocks Preserve, Inc.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 3:35 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Where to start?

OK, I talked to Stu the other day about the status of the sale because I had a number of questions and wanted to start a dialogue that will hopefully lead to a purchase of the land.

My first question to him was about converting the land from privately to publicly held. He said that shortly after the land was put up or sale he and several others contacted all of the logical public land management agencies (park systems, Access Fund, etc...) and nothing materialized, actually no real interest was expressed at all. I for one would like to see the land publicly held and managed to avoid any future issues concerning open, public access. It appears however, that will not be the case.

I have a number of questions that I would like the input of the climbing community on. Both locals who have climbed at Nelson for a long time and may even currently have access and local or nonlocal climbers who have been unable to climb because of the closure. Even if your not effected by the closure because you live in Alaska, I would still like your input. Feel free to address the questions individually or just rant away.

I have tried to keep my personal opinions out of this particular post so as not to effect replies one way or the other.

1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

3. If you had to pay to play, would a membership program with annual fees that included camping and cabins (depending on the level you choose) be better than a simple entry fee that was open to the whole public? Is membership only, really public access?

4. If climbing was free would you be willing to donate time to trail work and anchor maintenance to help the climber portion of Nelson be self sustaining?


I am a bit ambivalent about some of this. If Nelson is going to be privately owned I would like it to be by someone who would open it back up to climbing but is that really the lesser of the two evils. Unfortunately I am not exactly wealthy and the Via Ferrata at a minimum would still have to be charged for so that the place was self sustaining. I would simply be operating it as a second business but wouldnt mind at all if it never generated any profits and simply payed for itself. As I understand it, some climbers (mostly the local community) has access to climbing. Is everyone happy with the current situation? Has an ideal balance been achieved? Would I be doing more harm than good purchasing the land in order to reopen it to the public?


Thanks in advance for the input.


lofstromc


Mar 16, 2008, 4:37 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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1. I've only climbed at Franklin a few times and never at Nelson. It's my understanding that Nelson offers multi-pitch and gear placement potential. Franklin offers no multi-pitch and is almost all sport climbing. I would like to be able to see for myself.

2. I wouldn't mind a pay to play approach.

3. It seems that once you introduce different levels of membership, camping, access to cabins, etc. you automatically need to have staff and the like. Is the overhead for that going to reduce or even eat into profit?? Simple is always easier, I think. A daily fee that allows for one night of camping would be my preference.

4. I am always willing to contribute time to give back to climbing areas and the community at-large.


sween345


Mar 16, 2008, 5:51 PM
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  Bryan,

Maybe if you researched how the Mohonk Preserve
operates at the Gunks it would be helpful to you. As far as I know it is lands "held in public trust", basically meaning they must allow access. As far as being privately owned and administered, I have no idea of the legal intricacies involved.

Hope this helps.

Jim


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 8:31 PM
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lofstromc wrote:
1. I've only climbed at Franklin a few times and never at Nelson. It's my understanding that Nelson offers multi-pitch and gear placement potential.

Nelson is well developed and has an interesting blend of trad, mixed and sport climbing. A unique venue in the midatlantic to be certain.

lofstromc wrote:
3. It seems that once you introduce different levels of membership, camping, access to cabins, etc. you automatically need to have staff and the like.

You are correct, all of that would entail maintenance and additional over head. The cabins are already inplace and will be available for rent if not exclusively reserved for a membership program. To some extent it is 'six of one, half dozen of another'. The memberships was actually Stu's (the current owner) idea and given his history with the place I thought the idea should at least be put on the scale with everything else.

Personally you and I are of the same mind on the subject but I want to know everyones feelings on this.

lofstromc wrote:
4. I am always willing to contribute time to give back to climbing areas and the community at-large.

Thank you.


roninthorne


Mar 16, 2008, 8:43 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:

[Stu] said that shortly after the land was put up or sale he and several others contacted all of the logical public land management agencies (park systems, Access Fund, etc...) and nothing materialized, actually no real interest was expressed at all.

Now that's hard to believe [sarcasm]... since it took the owners of the Southern Pillar at Seneca almost turning that end of the formation into a logging project and then a housing development for the NFS to finally, grudgingly buy it for something like 2 million dollars... I mean, there are formations like that just laying around on convenience store shelves all over the place, right?

If you think that the NFS under our war happy idiot Commander-in-Denial has either the resources or motivation to purchase another strategically-unimportant chunk of rock (in other words, one that won't put a Republican in the White House), you're not paying attention. NOTHING not having to do with the elections or the War (which I think Dubya announced as a Vikt'ry about 2 yrs and several thousand deaths ago) is gonna get any money or support. And by the time the dollar finishes going into the toilet (no, no... don't look at the markets... just keep supporting the TROOPS, fergawdsakes!), and Hillary and Barak finish making races and genders hate each other, who's gonna care about another climbing area in poor ol' redneck heaven West-by-God?

As for the Access Fund... oh, never mind.. I'd still like to try to get some swag out of them, even if Thomson didn't mention word one about Franklin in his teary-eyed little goodbye email about DC-area spring Adopt-a-crags and how he's leaving to make some money elsewhere...

Sorry, but you did invite a rant and that's my take on the national pulse at the moment. Hell... I can't even get any regular, dependable support to keep "clean, safe" Franklin from sliding off the hill and right out of the climbing scene... and you expect the climbing "community" (snicker) to come up with a plan?

Was that a pig that just flew by.....?

notapplicable wrote:
1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

If something doesn't happen soon to change climber attitudes towards each and every day being a trailday and clean-up opportunity, and to foster the realization that while you may have the freedom to do many things, that freedom is inextricably joined to the responsibility for dealing with the impact of those actions, then Franklin will likely be closed in the next few years. The two warm, friendly old grandpa types who have been so kindly overlooking our impact have handed over control to their kids, and they don't like us all that much.

As for Seneca... well, the guides on both sides of the road there think they're pretty cool when they sneak down the creek and across the river to Champe Rocks... because they are too stupid to realize that the same family owns the land on the OTHER side of the river, too. They've pulled the same stunt at a handful of other places around Germany Valley and pissed off a fair share of the landowners there (I know because I've been trying to get climber access to those places to relieve some of the strain elsewhere), all while sending people to Franklin (where they NEVER do trailwork or contribute to maintenance) to reduce crowding at the crag where they make their money. And correct me if I'm wrong.. wasn't there a flurry of bolting and chopping somewhere around the Burn not too long ago? Hmmm... wonder who might have been doing that...

How long do you think it's going to stay fee-free to climb at Seneca, with this kind of impressive record of conscientious climbers treating landowners and resources with dignity and respect?

Don't count on either of the nearest crags as a fallback reason to let Nelson go, kiddies... Anything you take for granted will sooner or later be taken away.

notapplicable wrote:
2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

I would happily pay $5.00/day to climb at Nelson.


notapplicable wrote:
3. If you had to pay to play, would a membership program with annual fees that included camping and cabins (depending on the level you choose) be better than a simple entry fee that was open to the whole public? Is membership only, really public access?

Who cares if it's public access? It's Access to a great crag and a piece of WV climbing history. And Judy Gap (not to mention 20-some miles of the North Fork cliffs) can be found by going right over <<<<< there, for all the cheapskates.

You pay to get in.

You pay for a parking pass. Don't want to? That's your right (know how fond you pet owners are of those rights). If, after buying several hundred dollars worth of climbing gear and Eric Horst's unauthorized guidebook, you're too cheap to pony up for a parking pass, you can always hitchhike, or take a bus and then backpack down from Petersburg... it's only a 30 mile hike to Nelson from there... think of it as a reaaaaally long warm-up. Oops... is it Monday again, already?

You want to stay? You pay to rent a cabin or camp by the river, if you're a premium member you pay less, and if you're a Platinum member (with say the income of a lawyer or investment banker) your $1,000 a year guarantees you first dibs on an uninsulated cabin with no plumbing and bunk beds! (Reservations at least 90 days in advance, first come, first served.)

notapplicable wrote:
4. If climbing was free would you be willing to donate time to trail work and anchor maintenance to help the climber portion of Nelson be self sustaining?

Oh, you mean like they do at Franklin........

Sorry... ya had to see that one coming...

But, honestly, since I've already done a decade at Franklin pretty much out of my own pocket and on my own time, would I get any credit for that? How 'bout just giving me carte blanche to drop rocks on anyone I saw off trail or whose dog I caught digging pits at the base of the cliff, with the right to either adopt, sell, or eat the dog?

Regardless, I'd be willing to pledge four full days a month to trails and crag maintenance and clean-up, minimum. Hell, I'd even guide for ya or just cook and tell no-shit-there-I-was stories around the premium members' campfires.


Look, n/a... the liability of the Via Ferrata is gonna eat you alive, mate... Just chop the damned thing down and that's that. We got along fine without it for YEARS.

And yer never gonna come up with a solution that everyone likes... not even God has managed that, and S/he's had a long, long time to work on it....

But I'd be first in line to help in any way I could... short of stopping color commentary like this in RC.com discussions, of course.... or agreeing that anyone has a RIGHT to bring their dog to the crag... or leaving poor Eric alone for selling out to Falcon Press... or not taking the piss out of for-profit groups who use private crags but don't give back or teach ethics... or-

-well, anyway, I'd be willing to help.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 9:15 PM
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Re: [sween345] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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sween345 wrote:
Bryan,

Maybe if you researched how the Mohonk Preserve
operates at the Gunks it would be helpful to you. As far as I know it is lands "held in public trust", basically meaning they must allow access. As far as being privately owned and administered, I have no idea of the legal intricacies involved.

Hope this helps.

Jim

I am currently looking in to the option of a land trust but there are some things on the financing end that I have yet to sort out and the two may be in conflict with one another.

There certianly are tax and other benifits, time will tell on that front.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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roninthorne wrote:
Was that a pig that just flew by.....?

Yes, please rant on. I freely admit that work has kept me far from the climbing and community of the area I grew up in. The main reason myself and my family are considering this purchase is because we want to move back to Harrisonburg. If I were to stay in Richmond this would not be feasible but I need to get back to the mountains and get my hands dirty.

roninthorne wrote:
Don't count on either of the nearest crags as a fallback reason to let Nelson go, kiddies... Anything you take for granted will sooner or later be taken away.

Dont get me wrong, the current situation at Neslon is upsetting. The phrasing of that question wasnt designed to reflect my personal views of the situation.

Although I dont see access at Seneca as being tenuous but I completely take your word for whats happening Franklin. It seems you have been keeping that place tethered to a slippery slope for some time now.

roninthorne wrote:
Who cares if it's public access? It's Access to a great crag and a piece of WV climbing history. And Judy Gap (not to mention 20-some miles of the North Fork cliffs) can be found by going right over <<<<< there, for all the cheapskates.

I do see what your saying but I struggle with the idea that limited or highly restricted access is close enough to the ideal to be worth doing. It certainly is a start but again, the Via will pay the mortgage on the place and you will limit a great number of people with the membership program.

I do see how that would not be all bad. Climbers would hopfully feel more inclined to care for the resource if they new access was restricted to those who really had a vested interest in the rock and access to it.

Perhaps this is not the time to be an idealist. Some access is certainly better than none.

roninthorne wrote:
Oh, you mean like they do at Franklin........

Sorry... ya had to see that one coming...

Yes I suppose I did.Unimpressed

roninthorne wrote:
Look, n/a... the liability of the Via Ferrata is gonna eat you alive, mate... Just chop the damned thing down and that's that. We got along fine without it for YEARS.
.

All other things aside, this really is the crux of the matter. In order to make this purchase possible I will be using a portion (a large one) of the operating capital from the small, family owned, residential development company I run here in Richmond. The best I can do is 20%-25% down so the rest will be financed. The Via Farrata has to pay the mortgage as we are talking $55,000.00+ grand a year not including overhead. I dont see any way around it honestly.

To keep the honesty rolling, this aint the Red River. I just dont see that kind of money being raised on an annual basis for a place as wild and bold as Nelson. I'm not telling you anything you dont know but its a different kind of scene and I for one am thankful for that.

Concerning the liability, I am comming out to the valley in two weeks to meet with Stu and get into some numbers with him. Based on what I know so far this thing really seems possible and the insurance is just overhead.

If you have other ideas I'm all ears. I would just hate to see the place get into the hands of someone with no plans for climbing access. I see it happening, I really do.



On a personal note: I know you take most thank you's as lip service but I'm gonna say it anyway you grumpy bastard.Tongue

Thanks for the personal sacrafices you make to preserve and enable access for the rest of us.

There, that wasnt so bad was it?


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 7:42 AM
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what's the asking price these days for Nelson Rocks purchase?


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 8:14 AM
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pornstarr wrote:
what's the asking price these days for Nelson Rocks purchase?

A very reasonable $750,000.00


gimmeslack


Mar 17, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:

1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

This gumby sez it is crazy to let ANY quality rock slip away. Nelson should be seen as a compliment to Seneca.

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

Not a problem. You buy it I'll gladly pay $5 to climb. Sheesh, that's not even a good lunch at Fatboy's...


Thanks in advance for the input.


forkliftdaddy


Mar 17, 2008, 11:54 AM
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1. I was sad to not have gotten a chance to explore Nelson Rocks. So I'd love to see it open again.

2. I'd gladly pay $5.

3. Simple fee would be best for me as I do not live in the area. Member only is not public access, but it is a compromise we must sometimes make. For example the best the CCC can do with Asheboro is member only access. We'd love to open it to all, but the landowner made the rule.

4. Honestly, I probably would not as I live too many hours away.


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 1:55 PM
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having been there many times, i'd gladly pony up
for continued access.

i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.

i think it was feasable (fee area access) at the purchase price the NRP folks paid....not sure about it at 750k.

If I had that much expendable cash I'd proabably buy it, nonetheless.


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 2:38 PM
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pornstarr wrote:
i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.


Some argue that liability is less if things are on a "donation" basis but I dont think that really makes much of a difference in the real world. A good question for an attorney.


elvislegs


Mar 17, 2008, 4:08 PM
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notapplicable wrote:

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

i'm not from the area and i've only been there once, so, grain of salt and all that.
i think it was a cool area, but i'm not positive i'd pay to climb there... not with free climbing nearby.
i had a great weekend with those folks, but i didn't love the climbing.

i know that's not very helpful to you n/a, but it thought it might help you see it from an outsider's perspective and ask yourself something like: "if i sink all my money into this place, is it enough cooler than the other nearby areas that people will pass them by to come here and pay?"

what sets nelson apart?
is it enough to keep it running?

your dedication to saving this place you love is admirable, but i don't think anyone would want to watch you go broke.

for what it's worth.
-sean


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 4:45 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
pornstarr wrote:
i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.


Some argue that liability is less if things are on a "donation" basis but I dont think that really makes much of a difference in the real world. A good question for an attorney.

an attorney already owns the place, FWIW.


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 7:05 PM
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elvislegs wrote:
i know that's not very helpful to you n/a, but it thought it might help you see it from an outsider's perspective and ask yourself something like: "if i sink all my money into this place, is it enough cooler than the other nearby areas that people will pass them by to come here and pay?"

what sets nelson apart?
is it enough to keep it running?

-sean

Thats exactly the kind of input I want man, thanks.

The climbing will never pay the bills on this place and quite frankly I dont want it to. The via farrata is going to be the way that climbing access is maintained. It just has to pay for itself so we can have a place to play, if it cannot do that I (unfortunately) I wont be able to pursue it.

Beyond the simple principle that access is important, Seneca is a cluster fuck most weekends and even week days. Your not wrong that Nelson will never parallel Seneca but it would be nice to have a place to go with a little elbow room. What I am trying to get a feel for is what people think the ideal level of access would be given the circumstances.


lofstromc


Mar 17, 2008, 7:31 PM
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I've been thinking about something and initially thought I should keep it to myself, but...
Not applicable, since you are in land development, are you familiar with the idea of cohousing, or intentional communities?
My hairbrain idea is that if you could find a group of people - like-minded, climbing people - to pony up and invest in the land in return for partial ownership. That may be a way to make this happen.
I know there would be alot of stuff to work out, but this knuckleheaded scheme may be a way to ensure that Nelson remains open to climbing and you don't have to take on a mortgage that may sink you.
Just some thoughts.


(This post was edited by lofstromc on Mar 17, 2008, 7:32 PM)


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 8:41 PM
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additionally......

although beautifully done, the via ferrata will need maintenance soon enough!!!!

i'd get on it no problem, even in five years, but all that steel ain't gonna last forever, And there's alot of it......and alot of work went into putting that stuff up!

something else to think about.

please buy it.

I'll show you around the place..... haha, J/k.

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 5:34 AM
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lofstromc wrote:
I've been thinking about something and initially thought I should keep it to myself, but...
Not applicable, since you are in land development, are you familiar with the idea of cohousing, or intentional communities?
My hairbrain idea is that if you could find a group of people - like-minded, climbing people - to pony up and invest in the land in return for partial ownership. That may be a way to make this happen.
I know there would be alot of stuff to work out, but this knuckleheaded scheme may be a way to ensure that Nelson remains open to climbing and you don't have to take on a mortgage that may sink you.
Just some thoughts.


Hippie communes!?!Shocked Everybody run...

Just kidding. Thats a good idea if something more simple and straight forward cannot be worked out.

One discussion I have already had with several people is if they would be interested in buying a small 3-5 acre parcel that would be situated nicely for a vacation cabin. Some thing that would have a nice view but be apart form the "commercial" activities of the place, they could access it year round as a weekend get away for friends and family. The land would be privately owned by them and simply have an easement across the existing parcel. Although selling any of it would be less than ideal, if it helped off set the down payment by half or even a third it would be a big help.


I have been strongly considering the creation of a public trust to hold the land. Operating as a nonprofit has a lot of advantages in the direction of conservation and tax benefits.

With what little research I have done it looks like two forms of nonprofits could work for what your talking about. The first being a "Social and Recreation Club" where the land owned by a group of people with equal access but not subdivided into individual parcels. After its established people can sell (at a profit if they want) their share of ownership but original goals of the place are contractually held to protect the place. One disadvantage here is you cannot advertise publicly for "members" so getting the right people together could be tricky.

The other is a simple "Private Land Trust", to which all donations are tax deductible.

There is a bunch of info. here - http://www.ic.org/...r/1995/27butcher.php - as well as other places.


It seems that a simple purchase of the land by one or two parties is the most straight forward and expeditious. To be honest, one of the reasons I lean that direction is because I am not a "get involved, fund raising, rally the troops" kind of person. When I'm out climbing, I'm usually the guy at the far end of the cliff climbing with just one person or off by himself soloing. I'm not a social animal so I dont think I have it in myself to organize something like this. Now if there are some others who are as equally interested in getting our hands on this place while its available I will get involved but somebody else is gonna have to be the "tip of the spear" on this thing.


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 5:50 AM
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pornstarr wrote:
additionally......

although beautifully done, the via ferrata will need maintenance soon enough!!!!

i'd get on it no problem, even in five years, but all that steel ain't gonna last forever, And there's alot of it......and alot of work went into putting that stuff up!

something else to think about.

please buy it.

I'll show you around the place..... haha, J/k.

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...

Yes it will need maintaining, along with the rest of the property. Unless a group of people can come togeather and buy the place it will have to be operated as a business to pay for itself. All that stuff is just overhead, along with insurance, advertising, etc...

I have a friend who already works for me now who would be willing to live on the place and be fulltime caretaker for a small salary and free rent. I would have to get power hooked up to one or more of the cabins but hes a pretty rustic dude, he wouldnt mind the accomidations at all.

I'm headed out there on the 29th to check the place out (the last time I was there was right before climbing closed) and meet with Stu. I'll probably do the Via while I'm there to do an inspection.

I take it you have spent a bunch of time at Nelson? Did you take part in any of the route development that went on before or after the place got opened up?


naitch


Mar 18, 2008, 6:50 AM
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I've climbed there and would continue to pay to play even it it went up a bit in price. I don't clip bolts that much, preferring trad. However it has enough trad to be interesting and it's also a good place to take people who are learning to lead. Even though Franklin is fairly soft, Nelson has a few bolted .5s and .6s good for newbie leaders to gain confidence. I prefer Nelson to Franklin just because it's a mixed area, longer routes and less time to get to if one is camping at Seneca and wants more variety. I seldom go to Franklin even if a bit closer to home and "free"

Hope it works out for you. A friend tried to interest me in going in with him and two others when it was first went up for sale but was unsure. I am not very business minded nor much of a risk taker (financially). Unsure


pornstarr


Mar 18, 2008, 7:25 AM
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you may want get in touch with Sean Coburn with the Carolina Climbers Coalition. He and others arranged the purchase of Laurel Knob (tallest cliff in the east)
which is now held by the CCC.

He may have some good Ideas.

Reach him on the CCC website.


roninthorne


Mar 18, 2008, 4:43 PM
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pornstarr wrote:

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...

Are those fins owned by Stu? Thought I remember seeing Posted signs just across the creek when we had Oozefest... of course, I wasn't entirely coherent at the time...

Re: the Via Ferrata-

notapplicable wrote:
All other things aside, this really is the crux of the matter. In order to make this purchase possible I will be using a portion (a large one) of the operating capital from the small, family owned, residential development company I run here in Richmond. The best I can do is 20%-25% down so the rest will be financed. The Via Farrata has to pay the mortgage as we are talking $55,000.00+ grand a year not including overhead. I dont see any way around it honestly.

I was just talking to Dr. Goodwhack about this thing... do you know who the engineer that designed the Via was, or could you get that info from Stu? The Via has some issues- which I would be happy to address now, beginning the day of the sale, as a cartaker/camp host/maintenance man... there are folks right here in WV that could live there and work for you for rent and climbing privileges, n/a... nothing against your bud in Richmond, but he's in Richmond, where there are jobs... we're in WV where they are a little harder to get... but I digress (imagine that).

Anyway, the good Doctor and I were thinking about the force multiplier (known to you laymen as "that tight bridge on the Via Ferrata") and wondering just who designed, specced, and installed that bit of highwire artistry. Might be some more good intel to gather.. and of course, even if someone competent did design and install it, you'd want to get an engineer out there to re-inspect it before you agreed to any price... the thing is a big enough liability as it is.

(I still say chop it, but if you play your cards right, you're the Boss!Wink)

As for Mr. Lofstrom's excellent harebrained idea.. it is just that... excellent!

How 'bout leasing that part of the Preserve to be run by someone else, with first dibs on cabins reverting to you in the climbing season? I know of a non-profit or two in the area who constantly have volunteers looking for something to do and someplace to go... and these are volunteers with $$$, not just eager college kids running up Dad's Visa...

In the off season, those places could return profits from non-climbers- imagine that view with the fall colors and/or 4" of snow... can you say AARP? Conde Nast, Bass Pros, the Audobon Society... lordie, where couldn't you advertise in the Special Interest-Outdoors sector!?!? Go for the snob appeal and charge 'em $250.00 per night and you'll be beating the golden-parachuting CEOs and investment bankers who just repo'd all those homes and made a tidy windfall away with a #13 Hexcentric, man!


conversely, if you improved those cabins just a bit, they would be worth the price of a Premium/Charter/Lifetime membership (another idea I wouldn't immediately discard... Look to the AAC for some guidance on this, too)

Finally-

When and if ya start selling plots, let me know... I've already got a buyer for one of them.

(This post was edited by roninthorne on Mar 18, 2008, 4:53 PM)

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