Sports Backers Blog

Pocahontas Bike Park and Adventure Center Masterplan: Request for Proposals

May 25, 2023

Request for Proposals

Bike Park and Adventure Center Masterplan

Background: Chesterfield County is working with Sports Backers for the development of a Bike Park and Adventure Center Masterplan used to guide the development of a center with public-private partners adjacent to Pocahontas State Park.  Chesterfield County includes this new adventure and biking center in their most recent sports tourism strategic plan.

This facility would be developed in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which operates the Virginia State Park system and Pocahontas State Park.  Pocahontas State Park has been steadily building out its trails for mountain biking, hiking, gravel riding, and nature walks with a 90-mile trail network already in place on its 8,000-acre site. In 2022, 1.1 million visitors came to Pocahontas State Park making it the most visited park in Virginia State Park’s system.

Sports Backers has raised private funds to hire a team to guide the development of the future Bike Park and Adventure Center Masterplan. Sports Backers is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to inspire people to live actively in the greater Richmond area. Sports Backers has been meeting with the various parties involved in and around Pocahontas State Park to get their advice and support for producing this masterplan.

Major Components of the Masterplan

  • The development of a site plan for a 150-acre generic bike park and adventure center design including both public and private uses. The exact location has not been secured, and this concept plan will assume the property has road access and is adjacent to Pocahontas State Park.
  • The development of recommendations to connect soft and hard surface trails within Pocahontas State Park, where feasible, and suggest possibilities for the expansion of the trails to drive increased tourism and park revenue as well as meet a greater diversity of user experiences.
  • The development of a safe and accessible soft and hard surfaced trail connection plan to current and future neighborhoods within a five-mile radius of Pocahontas State Park.

Who should apply:

Teams of consultants with experience and skills developing:

  • Mountain Bike trail networks
  • Adventure Sports Centers
  • Bike Parks
  • Active Transportation Connectivity plans

Scope of Work:

  1. Details about the Bike Park and Adventure Center

Develop a conceptual layout of a proposed 150-acre development site. Evaluate the sizing needs for such a project and determine if more or less acreage would be ideal for a fully integrated Bike Park and Adventure Center. Recommended uses for local business types include bike shop, brewery, coffee shop, restaurant, outfitter, and other retail. Other potential uses include playground, picnic area, amphitheater/stage area, public restrooms, rock climbing wall, zip line, ropes course, and canopy tour. Bike park amenities potentially include cyclocross course, BMX competition track, all-weather mountain bike trail, beginner pump track, skatepark, multiple skill level jump line, mountain bike skills loops, and strider bike playground. Other trailhead features could potentially include bike parking, trail wayfinding, bike repair station, water fountain, benches, and covered gathering area.

Develop cost estimates for the construction of the proposed Center.

Develop estimated attendance and visitor numbers at the future Center based on similar facilities around the country.

Engage key stakeholders in the development of the project including the public, Chesterfield County, Commonwealth of Virginia including the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and park volunteer groups.

Develop criteria for ranking potential locations for the future Bike Park Adventure Center to help with the ranking of potential sites and locations for the complex. Considerations should include access to major roadways, access to commercial areas, access to amenities in Pocahontas State Park, connections inside Pocahontas State Park, resident connectivity, topography (esp. elevation and grade), and environmental impact.

Develop recommendations on any changes to existing zoning or development rules to facilitate the implementation of the Center.

Develop a description and conceptual drawings of what the Center looks and feels like including landscaping, gateway to the Pocahontas Trails, public/private parking, and other features.

  1. Details about Pocahontas State Park Trails

In consultation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and other stakeholders:

Develop paved and non-paved trail enhancement recommendations for inside Pocahontas State Park to facilitate bike and pedestrian connection to the Center as well as other park amenities. Recommendations will be provided to the Department of Conservation and Recreation as public input to its Pocahontas State Park master planning process.

Develop detailed recommendations for future trail development in Pocahontas State Park to enhance a diverse range of users with a particular emphasis on providing a range of significant trail options for all user groups for consideration in future State Park planning efforts. Current trails and gravel roads should provide a significant starting point for this effort.

Develop strategies for maintenance funding and operations for existing and future trail construction inside Pocahontas State Park.

  1. Details about active transportation connectivity

Develop an active transportation plan to connect residents living within 5 miles of Pocahontas State Park to safely walk or ride to the Center. Use Chesterfield County’s existing Bikeways and Trails Plan as a starting point for these connections. Note that connections through Pocahontas State Park should also be considered by such means that do not negatively affect Pocahontas State Park revenue generation. The connectivity plan should suggest possible changes or additions to Chesterfield County’s existing Bikeways and Trails Plan and include a map of the proposed routes.  Further, consideration should be made for both paved and unpaved connections, as appropriate.

In addition, provide suggested trail corridors to connect to the James River Park Trail System in the City of Richmond and the Fall Line trail. Note that the James River Park trails are non-paved and the Fall Line is paved – the connections can be appropriately surfaced for consistency with those trail connections.

  1. Other considerations

Development of an economic impact analysis of the proposed project based on three primary factors including visitor spending, enhanced real estate values within the active living connected area, and the impact of attracting top talent to live or work in Chesterfield County.

Develop a public outreach plan led by the consultants in conjunction with Sports Backers to seek input from key constituent groups to include DCR staff, County staff, volunteer trail groups, elected officials, and the general public.

Development of a funding strategy for the land acquisition, construction of the Hub, construction of new trails, and ongoing maintenance of the public facilities and trails.

Provide an innovative, beautiful, inspiring, and accessible plan in digital and print formats. Sharable graphics, renderings, animations, video, and other formats are a plus.

Provide thoughtful inclusion for people of all ages and abilities.

All files and documents will be the property of Sports Backers at the completion of the final Masterplan.

Proposal Requirements

  • Description of the firm’s experience and qualifications in outdoor recreation planning, trail design, and facility development.
  • Project team’s staff qualifications and relevant project experience.
  • Proposed methodology and approach, including a description of how the project team will engage with stakeholders, gather input, and incorporate feedback.
  • Provide examples of previous work relevant to the Bike Park and Adventure Center Masterplan.
  • Provide your project fee and project timeline and include any features that would be possible additions to the project and the associated fees and expenses.
  • References from previous clients, including contact information for at least 3 references.

Submission: Proposals should be submitted electronically to Sports Backers no later than June 29, 2023 at 5:00 pm EST.  Proposals should be submitted in PDF format and emailed directly to Brantley Tyndall, Sports Backers, Director of Bike Walk RVA at [email protected].  Questions regarding this RFP should be sent to Brantley Tyndall directly.


We are looking for innovation and creativity that will help to elevate Chesterfield County and Pocahontas State Park’s potential as a world class cycling destination – dazzle us!

What this RFP is not looking for:

  • Chesterfield County Sports Tourism Plan
  • Chesterfield Bikeways and Trails Plan
  • Pocahontas State Park Master Plan

Cost Range

We are expecting proposals in the range of $150,000 to $200,000.

Application and Project Timeline

  • May 25 – RFP Launch
  • June 7 at 1 PM EST — Zoom Information Session for interested contractors
  • June 29 at 5 PM EST — Responses to RFP due
  • June 30 to July 6 — Finalists interviews
  • July 7 — Selection of winning bid on July 7
  • July to October – site visits and community and stakeholder engagement
  • November 3 — First draft to be completed
  • November – second round of locality and stakeholder engagement for draft review
  • January 17 — Final Plan Delivered


Sports Backers and the selected consultant will designate project managers through which all communications related to the plan will be exchanged and who will meet monthly for project updates during the course of the plan’s development. Chesterfield County Planning, Economic Development, and Parks and Recreation departments, and Virginia State Parks will each have a main point of contact invited to the meetings concerning the plan development.

About Pocahontas State Park

Just 20 miles from Richmond, Pocahontas State Park offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, 90-plus miles of trails, and nature and history programs. The Aquatic Center, which has a toddler pool, fountain wet deck, three-foot and five-foot-deep leisure pools, an activity pool, and two tubular water slides, affords seasonal water-based activities for all. Three lakes offer plenty of fishing. Boat rentals are available seasonally by the 225-acre Swift Creek Lake. The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, dedicated to Depression-era workers who helped build the state park system, is one of a handful in the nation. Two dining halls may be rented for meetings, weddings and special events. Rustic group facilities with primitive overnight cabins (bunkhouses) are available seasonally for larger groups. The park’s 2,000-seat amphitheater hosts the Pocahontas Premieres series of concerts and family-friendly entertainment.

About Chesterfield County

Chesterfield County is located south of the City of Richmond and the James River in central Virginia. Chesterfield County is a first-choice community for residents, businesses, and visitors in which to live, work, raise a family, and play. It is “The 17th Best Place to Live in America;” “One of the 100 Best Communities in America for Young People.” With a population of 364,568 residents in 2020, it is the fourth largest county in Virginia. The 423-square mile jurisdiction has 63,962 school students in the current academic year. The median income is $84,645 and 40% of the population over 25 has a bachelors degree or higher.

About Sports Backers

Sports Backers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, pursues a goal to transform greater Richmond into the most physically active community in the nation by leading the area in embracing and celebrating an active lifestyle. Our events and programs are designed to foster active lifestyles for everyone.

During the past 32 years, Sports Backers has developed programs and events that are designed to inspire people from all corners of our community to live actively. We achieve this work by focusing on a network of collaborative partnerships with other organizations, businesses and local governments. In order to have transformational change, we realize we can’t do it all alone, but rather we work to build a movement of change in our community to make active living the easy choice.

Main Contact

Brantley Tyndall
Sports Backers, Director of Bike Walk RVA
100 Avenue of Champions
Richmond, VA 23230
[email protected]

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