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Calgary BMX indoor bike park battling soaring costs trying to survive past spring

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The B-Line Indoor Bike Park in northeast Calgary blew open its doors to the public in 2017, but now high costs are straining the facility’s resources, putting pressure on it to try and stay open into the spring.

“I've put my life into this, worked here pretty much every single day for the last six and a half years,” said owner Ryan Greenberg.

Greenberg wanted B-Line to become the premier destination for BMX bikers, skateboarders and riders in western Canada.

Now he needs community support to keep the business thriving.

“You've got terrain like a ski hill for all levels from green, blue and black,” he said

“We've got a team where all the kids are learning the backflip, some of the younger kids are just mastering different parts of the park.”

The facility is 60,000 square feet and with a space that size comes high costs.

“Our operating costs, which are just part of our rent, and we're obligated to pay, in our first year they were $13,000 a month,” he said.

“That includes property taxes, utilities and stuff like that. And (now) they are currently $37,000 a month.”

Greenberg says his business has also been hit by thieves six times since he opened, the most recent coming last month.

“When we’re struggling with rent on a monthly basis, any setback makes it harder,” he said.

Security video captured a man and woman entering the business on Jan. 24 around 4 a.m. taking more than $5,000 worth of goods.

B-Line has been the starting point for riders like Carson Donovan.

The 22-year-old returned from a BMX competition in Florida this past weekend on Monday.

He says the facility is the reason he is able to compete at high levels today because he could practise through the winter months.

“This place, it's kind of the glue that holds the action sports together,” said Donovan.

“With BMX being an Olympic sport now, this place will prepare athletes for the upcoming Olympics in France 2024, maybe even Sydney, Australia, in 2028.”

He says he was never into team sports and trained at B-Line regularly.

Donovan believes the facility closing its doors would set the sport back, leaving a devastating hole in the community.

“I found bike riding as an individual sport, and this place was the best atmosphere for a younger kid like me to grow and thrive in the right direction,” said Donovan.

Now he hopes to inspire the next generation of riders, in the same spot he grew up.

“The role here of me coaching some kids and pushing them in the right direction really gives me that fulfillment that I need,” he said.

“And that's what fuels my fire.”

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