Purple Mountain hit back after losing Dalby Forest contract

Following the news yesterday that the Forestry Commission would push Purple Mountain out of running the Dalby Forest café and bike shop and awarded the fresh new contracts to Pace, CTC and Eurest, Purple Mountain have responded.

Here’s their statement:

Purple Mountain is very sad to announce that we have lost the tenders to operate the Bike Centre and Café at Dalby Forest. We are also disappointed at the way we have been treated by the Forestry Commission a government/public body.

We are a small, local, independent business established from scratch more than 10 years ago. Purple Mountain has been operating the trail centre and café in Dalby since 2006. Building up and expanding the business over those years with a great deal of hard work and co-operation from a fantastic team. Offering a local, friendly outdoor café and high quality bike hire and biking events from the trail centre.

Purple Mountain entered a tender process with the FC in late December 2011 and we were told only last week via a three line letter that we had been unsuccessful. This is despite operating and working in partnership with the FC for the past six years.

We have built up the Dalby business from nothing and now offer high quality bike hire and bike events to all levels of rider. We have seen Dalby grow and have helped in that process. Now when it’s big and successful the FC toss us aside and move new companies in.

We have a number of issues with the process followed and believe that we have not been treated fairly and that the process lacks the transparency that is demanded by a public body.

We have been informed that there is no appeal process.

Following the news, there has now been set up an e-petition page http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-purple-mountain-cafe-dalby.html for

We want to hear your thoughts on this matter in the comments box below. Do you feel this is in the best interest of mountain bikers?

  1. Nick Hill

    Working in the industry I have heard a lot of bad things about Purple Mountain and the way they do business, these have come from people who had no benefit from telling me what they had heard.

    I am not surprised that the FC have decided to move on to a new partnership.

  2. ed

    Built it up from nothing? What about the man-and-wife outfit that were operating bike hire at Dalby long before Purple Mountain came along, and before the massive investment, new trails, visitor centre etc?

    What goes around….

  3. Chris

    I’m sorry to hear that they have been mistreated, no one deserves that. However, when compared to other trail centres, I don’t believe that Purple Mountain were competitive. I don’t think they really made the most of the fantastic opportunity that they had. I hope that under new management we will see some big step improvements @ Dalby, as the potential is clearly there. For that reason, I won’t be signing the petition. In addition, I hope that Purple Mountain will take the positive lesson from this and use it to improve their offerings at Kielder and potentially elsewhere.

  4. Pete Tomkins

    In all fairness, the Purple Mountain shop was a half-hearted effort. It will be interesting to see what Pace make of it.

  5. Paul Pickering TA Xtrail

    The first group to establish trails in Dalby was Singletraction- a charity organisation, with the support of Alan Eves and Adrian Carter/PACE (who was responsible for Dixon’s Hollow) and many other ‘not for profit’ local bike enthusiasts who put the forest on the map. Purple Mountain were given a fantastic opportunity to provide value for money biker friendly catering and well serviced bike hire. Did they succeed? Obviously not. In the safe, committed and experienced hands of PACE and the CtC. It now has the chance to fulfil its potential to become the best trail centre in the country. We wish them all the best.

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