Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Gravel Grinder News Flash: DK Promotions Announces Alignment With Lifetime Fitness

News this morning has been released concerning the Dirty Kanza 200. An e-mail was sent out by Executive Director, Jim Cummins detailing news that an alignment with Life Time, an events promotion company most notably associated with the Leadville 100 and Chequamegon 40 events.

Reactions so far are mixed, but many comments are being made to the effect that this will be, eventually, a negative effect upon prices to enter the event, as noted by what happened to other events associated with Life Time. Most pointing at Leadville as the example here.

Others have pointed out, as does Executive Director of the Dirty Kanza 200, JIm Cummins, that Life Time will bring resources that will enhance the experience of the riders. Cummins was quoted in the e-mail sent out Tuesday morning as saying, "Ultimately, the added resources Life Time brings will allow us to continue all that is great about Dirty Kanza for our athletes and the broader Emporia, Kansas community."

Of course, change brings a bit of challenge and pain, so how this plays out within the DK Promotions production of this event is yet to be seen. Some will say that any vestige of "grassroots gravel" has been lost with this announcement, while others will welcome any future refinements to the Dirty Kanza events with excitement. The official word now is that nothing will really change as far as how things are done, again from Jim Cummins, "Most importantly, I want to be clear that Dirty Kanza won’t change. This is important to all of us at Dirty Kanza Promotions, and to Life Time. I will continue to be front and center at the event, Dirty Kanza will continue to be the world’s premier gravel cycling challenge, and you will still be served by the same great team."

Stay tuned..........


eBikeADV said...

It says it will enhance the experience, but how much more of an experience do the participants need?

Guitar Ted said...

@PedalingPower- I think that what the DK Promotions team is saying there is that it will allow them to have the resources ($$$'s) to help them do a better job, thus "enhancing the experience" of the participants.

What that means in reality could be many things, but if you take Jim Cummins at his word it means that the riders won't have anything change concerning how the event is set up as far as the challenge of it is concerned. They also will likely have a very similar experience for riders who finish the DK 200, which I know the DK Promotions team wants for all those who finish.

I think what will be enhanced will be the unseen, behind the scenes things. But I am just guessing here.

Rydn9ers said...

I have never been to a DK and am not sure I ever will, most of that is due to the cost to enter the event, the hassle of finding accommodations and the huge crowds. That being said, Jim has done what any business strives to do, expand and grow. He's done a great job of promoting the event as the "premier gravel cycling challenge" and people have bought into that and have continued to pay the entry fees year after year as they continued to increase. Now everyone is complaining that it's getting too expensive, who is to blame for that except for the people paying the entry fees to go race the event? Grassroots sounds good to most people but that's because they associate grassroots with free and everyone likes something for nothing, everyone except the people organizing the event that is. I help out with a small event in Nebraska and it's a ton of work, we broke even the first year and might have been a little better off this year. Most of the entry fees don't go into the pocket of the event organizer, those fees go toward SWAG, insurance, supplies at the checkpoints, etc. If you can figure out how to take gravel racing and turn it into a full time job, I say more power to you. How many of us wouldn't jump at the opportunity if it presented itself? Will the prices of DK continue to go up, that depends, if people keep entering and paying the fees it will continue to go up because that is how any business operates. Like it or not the DK is a business as much as it is a gravel race, Jim is making decisions that should continue to grow that business and with growth comes more costs and those costs are always passed onto the consumer.

Guitar Ted said...

@Rob E- Amen! I've also said this for years. The only people we can blame for the DK's success are those who continue to support it. Don't like it? Vote with your dollars and go somewhere else. It isn't like there aren't a bunch of other great events out there. ;>)

john said...

Lifetime has a lot of polish - pizazz with their organization/equipment etc. I hope they don't suck the spirit out of this fine event