The sport of BMX is taking a major hit in the state of Washington as its lone indoor track in Port Orchard is closing, as the owner cites issues with change in site ownership and landlord negotiations, among other difficulties.
Peninsula Indoor BMX has been in at least part-time operations since the early 1980s and became full-time in 2010, becoming a regular host of local and state competitions. It was also the hub of consistent BMX activity during winter months, the indoor facilities allowing the track to be maintained year-round.
While it was beloved by many in the BMX and local communities, it’s a decision you couldn’t help but see coming for the Moore family. Even Joel Moore, co-track operator, carried some knowledge of the possible end.
“BMX isn’t exactly a lucrative business model,” he said. “It’s not something that you’re going to do because you’re going to get rich.”
It’s the passion of Moore and his family that continued to keep the track going, even when a recent change in site ownership meant the doubling of costs to operate. The decision to close could have come last year, but Moore made what he called a “bone-headed” move to pay some of the added costs. He also said further talks about adjusting the price were shot down.
“Last year, it cost me $18,000 to run the track; that’s out of my own pocket,” he said, “and that was only half a year of heightened rent. I’m not really interested in doing that for an entire year.”
Still, it was a hard announcement for the family to make that the track would cease operation July 21 and sell off its remaining bikes and onsite equipment.
Moore said the hardest part of closing down is the new kids they have to say goodbye to just after introducing them to the sport.
“I think it’s going to be hard for the parents of those kids because in many cases, BMX isn’t something that kids who are already gifted in other things come into,” he said. “I’m not saying BMX is filled with a bunch of downtrodden uncoordinated folks, but they found something that their kid enjoys that’s a cool community.”