Melrose is a historic town of just 400 residents, 2 ½ hours north of Adelaide. But this is not an ordinary country town. Tucked into the base of Mount Remarkable, Melrose gets over 100,000 tourist visitors per year of whom quite a few come for the great cycling on offer.
Over The Edge in Melrose, South Australia is part of a very unusual alliance of six Over The Edge MTB businesses scattered across remote corners of three countries.
“It comes down to our illustrious leader Troy Rarick, who has travelled a lot,” explained Melrose co-founder Richard Bruce.
“He originally took Fruita, Colorado, which was a bankrupt small town to where it is now by creating mountain bike trails that people wanted to come and ride. It’s about understanding what that mountain bike tourist wants. Not just trails but easy access, maps, something where they don’t have to jump a cliff to get to the finish line.
“People then wanted to tap into that. We had people from our region go over and found Troy and invited him to come to Australia. We opened here in March 2008.”
In addition to Richard his partner Kerri they employ one full time staff member and two casual staff.
“Selling bikes is the biggest park of our business, but rental is a big part and we have a café now that’s getting up to 25% to 30% of the business as well.
“We close in January because we look as it as an opportunity for us to take a break and freshen up. We’re back in February because we’ve got kids in school, which is also the final chance to improve the store before the new season, which runs from March until Christmas.
There’s peaks and troughs within that: school holidays, Easter, long weekends. There are more and more events in the town, not necessarily mountain bike events, that contribute to our daily sales. We’ve got a brewery that will be opening next year. They want to be an events centre as well.
“You can ride from the shop straight to the trails. There’s no need to shuttle to the trails. “There’s a group of local loyal riders who are out there maintaining the trails. Going forward we want to get some government funding to manage the trail maintenance. There’s 60 kilometres of single track. Then we’ve got a rail trail, fire roads, the Mawson Trail (which runs the full length of the Flinders Ranges) running through. Then you’ve got gravel grinding at Wirrabara Forrest Reserve just down the road where there’s some more single track as well.”
After almost 12 years, Richard and Kerri have decided to sell their unique business. They own their premises which they will either sell as part of the package or lease to the new business owners.
For more information about the sale, please refer to the For Sale Classifieds.