Funding for ongoing maintenance and new trail projects in the Telluride region.
We need your help! The Opt in for Trails campaign directly supports funding for ongoing trail maintenance and new trail projects in the Telluride region. Opt in for Trails today, and together, we’ll create a better trail system for tomorrow!
Why Opt in for Trails?
Telluride does not have perpetual funding in place to maintain current trails, construct new trails, create a cohesive signage program, replace bridges and more. Our regional trails are continually experiencing increased use as our population and tourism numbers grow. At the same time, United States Forest Service (USFS) budgets are dwindling and no other entities are taking on the responsibility of planning for recreation on USFS, public lands. Now is the time to work together to create a funding stream before it’s too late.
Did you know?
It costs upwards of $40,000 to construct one mile of new trail in the Telluride region. On top of that, it costs $1,500 to maintain one mile of trail annually. With no funding plan in place, the Telluride Mountain Club has created Opt in for Trails as a fundraising mechanism to help maintain and enhance our public lands and outdoor recreation resources.
How it Works
Funds are raised through participating businesses and direct donations. We invite you to join the cause. Participating businesses become the vehicle for customers to donate at checkout via one of the following:
- a voluntary 1% donation,
- by a round-up option at checkout
- a custom option that works best for your business.
- direct donations – donate here!
The donation option of choice is integrated into the participating business’s POS (set-up is complementary via Opt in for Trails). Participating businesses are supplied with rack cards and posters to provide information to their customers at checkout. Participating businesses won’t have to worry about any extra costs to their business or administrative work because the program is funded by customers and is only collected and passed through by the business.
Current Participating Businesses
- Box Canyon Bicycles – Round-up on bike rentals. Thank you Box Canyon Bicycles who has donated over $4,066 to Opt in for Trails so far!
- Timberline Ace Hardware (certain months only) – Since July 2020, Ace has contributed $7,244 via folks rounding up at checkout. Thanks to those who donated!
- Stronghouse Brew Pub – Round up your bill during checkout (with the handheld computers) to support Opt in for Trails. Thank you to Stronghouse who has donated $877 since 2021!
- Telluride Brewing – Opt in for Trails at checkout to support Telluride’s trails! Telluride Brewing has donated $2,117 since the start of 2023.
- Mountain Adventure Equipment – Cheers to the Mountain Adventure Equipment team who has donated $1,882 since May 2021!
- Christy Sports – We appreciate your $1,000 donation from 2022 bike rentals.
- Telluride Tourism Board (TTB) – Since 2021, Telluride Calendar proceeds benefit Opt in for Trails. Purchase your calendar at Between the Covers in Telluride. To date, the TTB donated $17,360.80 to Opt in for Trails.
- Telluride Mountain Run – TMR uses our nonprofit status to run the bar at their event each summer. TMR has donated $3,095 to Opt in for Trails!
- Jagged Edge Mountain Gear – All TMtC hat and t-shirt sales support Opt in for Trails – In September 2020, Jagged Edge donated $3,800 from Via Ferrata equipment sales to Opt in for Trails and the Via Ferrata Sustainability Fund!
When visiting these businesses, we hope you will consider a 1% or round up donation at checkout!
There is no restriction on businesses or individuals that can participate, nor are there any commitments on how much your business must contribute. TMtC is seeking partnerships through the Opt in for Trails campaign from restaurants, retail shops, realtors, building industry contractors, lodges/hotels, health/wellness/beauty service providers, property managers, guiding companies, landscapers, educational institutions, other nonprofits and more. We invite anyone and everyone to get involved and Opt in for Trails. Email email@example.com with questions and to get started.
Current Projects Needing Funding
♦ A reroute of the west side of the Deep Creek Trail to help with environmental concerns and increase user experience, slated to happen during the summer of 2023. The estimated reroute cost is around $100,000.
♦ Heavy trail maintenance to help elevate the user experience on Sunshine (T-35) Trail during the summer of 2023.
♦ Submitting a required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study for new trails (included in our proponent-driven trail proposal) to SE Group for 3rd party analysis. Once approved (approximately 18 months later), these trails can start being implemented. This projected is slated to be around $240,000.
♦ Ongoing regional trail maintenance and quick fixes.
This is only the beginning. TMtC has spent several years evaluating our region’s current trail system, surveying trail users and conceptualizing new trails to increase connectivity and create a more robust, environmentally conscious and well-planned trail system. We have 25 miles of conceptual, non-motorized trails on our radar. You can learn more about these new trails, connectors and reroutes in our recently released Trails Sustainability Plan.
Why Opt in for Trails?
Unlike many other mountain (tourism) towns across the country, Telluride does not have perpetual funding in place specifically for trails and other forms of outdoor recreation. As a result, Telluride is lacking the robust funding that a community of its nature should have in place to benefit its outdoor recreation infrastructure. At the same time, Telluride’s community and tourism numbers are growing and we need to proactively plan for and accommodate for increased usage of our trail system.
In addition, USFS recreation budgets are continuously being cut on a local and national level. There is no better time to collaborate as a community to set up outdoor recreation funding for the future.
What are other mountain towns doing?
Here are a few Colorado mountain town outdoor recreation funding examples:
- Steamboat Springs receives trail funding through their accommodations tax and has an endowment fund set up for trail maintenance.
- Crested Butte set up and is working towards permanent trail funding through their Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee. Additionally, they have 1% For Open Space established, a 1% opt-out donation at 70 regional businesses to help fund trail, open space and recreation projects.
- Eagle County has a ½ percent transportation sales tax to plan for and promote bicycling and walking systems essential to the regional transportation network.
- The Town of Eagle has a $2/night lodging occupation tax that funds trails.
- The Aspen Trail Finder Roaring Fork Fund (ROFO Fund) is the charitable giving arm to aid local land, river, trail, and outdoor education nonprofits in the Roaring Fork Valley.
- The Buena Vista Singletrack Coalition started 1% for Trails to build, maintain and advocate for new trails in the Buena Vista area. Learn more here.
How does Opt in for Trails Actually Work?
Donated funds will directly support expenses associated with regional trails (see ‘Example Fund Usage’ for specifics). Stakeholder meetings will be held on an annual basis to report what the funds have been used for and plans for the future.
Each participating partner is encouraged to develop an individual and creative model that will work best for their business. Participating businesses become the vehicle for customers to donate at checkout via one of the following:
- a voluntary 1% donation,
- by a round-up option at checkout, or
- a custom option that works best for your business
Examples of custom support if one of the above options does not work for your business:
- Restaurants: host quarterly meal nights where 10% of sales are donated to Opt in for Trails
- Bars: host quarterly TOCF nights where 10% of sales are donated to Opt in for Trails
- Lodgers: donate $1 per lodging booking to Opt in for Trails
- Service industry: add a voluntary $1 to $5 donation to Opt in for Trails during checkout
- Real estate professionals: donate $50 – $1,500 per closing to Opt in for Trails
- Community members: $25 – $1,000 donation to Opt in for Trails annually
Trail Funding Needs
- Trail work and maintenance
- Trail maintenance / building supplies
- Trail flagging
- Trail (on the ground) surveying
- NEPA for new trails
- New trail building
- Trail signage
- Trails planning
- New trail construction bids
- Trails mapping
- Trail easements work
- Private landowner coordination
- RFPs for trail engineering
- RFPs for new trail builds
- Trail GPS data
- Trail grant application research
- Grant applications for trail funding
- Trail events
- Trail administration
TMtC will report on the Opt in for Trails funds collected and projects accomplished annually. Additionally, TMtC will provide updated marketing materials for participating businesses to distribute to customers and celebrate our sustainability successes together.
Donate and Opt in for Trails Today!
Click the image above to make a donation and Opt in for Trails. Donate now!
Your donation to the club is tax deductible via the Telluride Mountain Club’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. No donation is too small!