by Craig Distl
To fulfill the need for bike rentals at Beech Mountain Resort’s new mountain bike park, Boone-based Magic Cycles has opened a shop in the ski village.
Michael Boone, owner of Magic Cycles, jumped at the opportunity to expand to Beech Mountain this summer when he learned the resort would provide regular lift access to its new downhill trails, and to the town’s Emerald Outback trails.
“We’ve been anxious for somebody to open a bike park at one of the ski slopes and Beech Mountain really made the commitment to outfit their lift and build trails,” said Boone, who opened his shop in downtown Boone in 1993. “We’ve seen the need for that for quite some time.”
Since early June, Magic Cycles’ satellite location has operated from leased space at Ski Beech Sports at the base of the trails. Riders may rent downhill or cross country bikes, depending on which trail system they plan to ride. They can also rent helmets and body armor, while buying lift passes at Ski Beech Sports.
“I just ordered seven more bikes recently and we will probably double the size of our rental fleet next year,” Boone said. “Business has gotten better and better every weekend. I think by the end of summer we’ll see a big demand from visitors coming to ride the trails.”
Boone said his primary customers so far have been cyclists who’ve ridden cross-country trails before and are excited to take the chairlift up and try downhill trails.
“I’m thrilled with the quality of the trails. The trail builders are out there adding new stuff weekly,” explained Boone. “They have done a good job developing something for the beginner and intermediate riders, as well as the advanced and pro riders.”
Boone is also excited about further development of the Emerald Outback trails, which are maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain. The town recently received a grant to improve and expand the Emerald Outback.
"That will make those trails a destination. They’re a little rooty for your beginning rider, but when they get some of that cleared out, it will become a destination for riders in the Southeast,” said Boone. “To be able to offer cross country riding up at that elevation is something I think will really explode. A lot of people from down off the mountain are going to find their way up here in the summer months when it’s so hot in Charlotte and everywhere else.”
Magic Cycles on Beech Mountain is open every , and through September. Hours are: Fridays from ; and weekends from