With spring in full effect, you might be brushing the dust off your mountain bike as a new season is upon us. The downhill mountain biking trails poke through as the snow melts at many mountains. Unfortunately, this transition will not happen at Little Switzerland, a ski area and bike park in Slinger, Wisconsin. Little Switzerland’s bike park has been in operation for the last ten years, until this year, when its insurance company dropped coverage of the bike park, forcing it to close indefinitely.
Little Switzerland shared this message via its website.
“We have made the difficult decision to permanently close the Little Switzerland Bike Park. Our insurance company has dropped coverage of the Bike Park, and alternative insurance options would not make the park economically viable moving forward.
We want to thank all of our loyal Bike Park customers that have made it a special place. It’s been quite a ride–literally and figuratively–over the last 10 years.
We also want to offer our sincere gratitude to the dedicated build crew that made the Bike Park one of the best in the Midwest. None of it would have been possible without their time, dedication, passion, and effort.
We are donating any features that may be usable to Heritage Trails County Park, located 10 minutes away and will offer any support to Heritage we can.
We are personally saddened by this difficult reality, and wish nothing but the best for the gravity biking community.”
As we know, injuries and mountain biking often go hand in hand. Resorts like Little Switzerland face steep costs and risks operating for downhill riders. Last May, Mt. Hood Skibowl shut down its bike park for the summer after an $11.4M verdict was filed against them in an injury lawsuit.
The Irish Times covered how the rising insurance premiums have affected the adventure and outdoor industry. One of Ireland’s best bike parks, “Bike Park Ireland,” closed in 2019 due to an insurance crisis.
I know, I know, insurance isn’t your absolute favorite thing to talk about… but it does impact our access to the sports and activities we love. If you’d like to learn more about how insurance works at the resort, check out this Triple-I Blog and the Insurance Journal.
If insurance isn’t your thing to nerd out on, enjoy a photo tribute of some of the great memories made at Little Switzerland.