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Author: Subject: Getting back a prime kite spot...


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Registered: 9-30-2008
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
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sad.gif posted on 10-11-2009 at 01:10 PM
Getting back a prime kite spot...

Here is the situation. Grand Forks, as well as all of Eastern ND is flat. Very flat. So flat that they say you can watch your dog runaway for a week :puzzled:. A while back (years, before I even started kiting) a group of kiters were able to settle an agreement with one of the local golf courses to be able to kite on the course property during the winter off-season. The course has many man made hills, sand traps, sloping terrain, and other features. It looks like an awesome kite spot.

Unfortunately, the deal was broken. I don't know the specific details, but from what I heard somehow the terrain was sliced or damaged somehow from the kiters (maybe a lack of snow depth?) and the course doesnt allow kiting anymore.

I would really like to get those terrain features back, but don't want to push buttons for the kiting community. Does anyone have suggestions on how to approach establishing communication again?

UND Snowkite Club, University of North Dakota
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Registered: 1-12-2009
Location: SW NH
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 03:12 PM

If there's a specific ban on kiting, for a specific infraction (or damage) it may be tough to get back on the specific course. However there may be other courses around willing to let you kite. If the course is still open for golf, go talk to the golf-pro and he'll either give you permission or point you in the direction of the person that can.

Golf courses spend a staggering amount of money on essentially having a nice lawn, so they are obviously going to wary of anything that can potentially damage it. By the same token, a duffer is going to do more damage in 18 holes than if you accidentally hold an edge to deep and get into the turf. If you show some sensitivity to when you go, like when the ground is completely frozen, there is little chance of damage anyway. I'm guessing what got the past kiters banned was they went to late into the spring when it started getting muddy, and tore up the place....

Show them you're sensitive to their investment, and a liability waiver wouldn't hurt either, and they may let you go to town.
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Flying G Zeus

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[*] posted on 11-5-2009 at 04:40 PM

Good luck in reclaiming the golf course. Try money. Golf courses lose money in the winter, I'm sure they would be receptive to collecting an entrance fee from kiters. Try a little B.S. too, just imagine .... thousands of paying kiters every winter season. Might work.

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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 02:50 AM

Now the spam has gone, I don't make any sense :lol:

Yeah... I got a kite. Or two...
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 09:03 AM

    Is this the Kings Walk Golf Course? You might be able to find out the back story from the Snow Kiting Forum. There a was a posting about a banning they had when it happened (if it's the same course).

    OK.... now for the other part. Regaining trust is always a harder gig than getting it in the first place.

    1. Make an appointment to meet with the powers that be.

    2. Have a couple of UND Snowkite Club Officers attend (united front and all that).

    3. If the club has a faculty advisor through the university, get a letter of recommendation from him/her.

    4. Hard to believe I am going to say this, but...

      It never hurts to make a good impression.

    5. Agree to provide liability waivers from all club members. If you can gather it up in time for the meeting, so much the better. I believe Angus has boilerplate liability waivers.

    6. Provide them with contact information for all the club officer so that there is an open channel of communications if any problems should arise.

    7. Come to an understanding as to when it is and isn't suitable to kite (nn amount of snow coverage) and agree to abide by it.

    8. Ask if there are any areas of the course that would be considered off-limits and agree to avoid them. Let them know that you would be amenable to any changes that make to any such restrictions and that they only have to contact one of the officers to make the club aware of them for the club to abide by them.

    9. A season pass at a snow resort can cost hundreds of dollars, which may not be viable. However, a club donation/admission fee would be make a nice "good faith token."

    10. If you are able to come to an accord with the Golf Course, it would be painfully easy for a wildcard element to ruin it for you in the blink of an eye. Provide the golf course with a roster of club members and have them check-in/check-out when using the course. That serves a few purposes:

      1. It adds a layer of accountability.
      2. It adds a layer of safety. You may be in civilization, but regardless of the waivers, it's still bad press for the course if something bad happens to anyone and they appear ignorant.
      3. Getting on good and familiar terms with the staff is always a good thing.
      4. It prevents anyone that heard about your arrangement by word of mouth from going onto the course without any intention or knowledge of adhering to any of the details of the arrangements you have made with the course.

    11. Contact Jeff at Wowkite (wowkite <AT> sbcglobal.net / www.wowkite.com). He used to run a winter snowkiting program on a golf course. He posted this in another forum a while back:

      This is Jeff with Wind Over Water kite school, I just wanted to touch base with all my past students and friends. Wind over Water Kite Boarding is taking a break for the winter but we wanted you to know that we started another school called Squaw Valley Kite school. This school is running lessons on the Squaw Valley golf course in the snow. This location is our base for snow kiting in the Tahoe area. For more info email us.

      He might have some insights for you that I have missed.
Hope that helps.


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[*] posted on 10-10-2011 at 09:16 AM

As someone who has locked horns with corporate administration about kites, I can tell you its a headache.
I think being sensitive to their concerns is PARAMOUNT. Most times they'll meet you halfway and won't budge after that.

the key like indigo said, is a good first impression.
Don't waste your time arguing with people who can't make it happen with less than two phone calls. There's plenty of junior execs in this world, and it's not worth tangling with someone who's just gonna call their boss about it to ask permission.

Things get DONE when the boss says so.
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