UNBOUND GRAVEL 2021 with Kimo Seymour and LeLan Dains

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Kimo Seymour (Life Time) and LeLan Dains (UNBOUND GRAVEL) take a look back at 2020 and forward to the 2021 gravel event season including UNBOUND GRAVEL. We take a close look at the COVID protocols the team has put in place to ensure a safe event.

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Episode Transcription:

Craig:

Gentlemen, welcome to the show.

Kimo:

Thanks for having us.

LeLan:

Yeah, thanks for having us, Craig.

Craig:

Yeah. So it'd be a good place start off since I've got two of you on the line today. Why don't we start off with Kimo, and then go on to LeLan? And just talk about your respective roles at Life Time. And maybe Kimo, prior to that, you could just tell the listener about Life Time in general.

Kimo:

Okay. So Life Time may be more nationally known as a leading health club company around the country. We operate 154 what I'll call destination health clubs around the country, and very nice, I'd consider pretty high end type health clubs, very family oriented company in 30 plus states. So Life Time's been around 20, I think we're coming up on 28, 29 years now. I'm fortunate enough to get to work on the events and partnership side of the business, so partnerships meaning most people think of it as sponsorships. We call them partnerships because it's an opportunity for us to share our partners with our audiences, and that happens to live both in events, which are outside of the walls of our clubs, as well as our members, which a couple million members, which attend our clubs.

Craig:

So how did Life Time start to see exterior events, events outside the club, as being an opportunity for a health club?

Kimo:

It's a great, great question. I think it was prior to my involvement. I've been with the company a little over nine years now. And my understanding was the idea was we kind of positioned ourselves as what we call a healthy way of life company. And I think the thought at the time, and continues to be our thought process that clubs and these destinations are an important component of a healthy way of life, but not necessarily the only component of a healthy way of life. To live healthy, you have to eat healthy. You have to have activity every single day. And clubs are an important component of that, but we also saw that to keep people in the ecosystem, it's important to engage them beyond the walls of the clubs, and events were an opportunity like that.

Kimo:

On top of it, events were a great brand. We found out that, gosh, you get a lot of really good exposure for your brand if you go create great experiences outside your clubs, a lot of media exposure. A lot of people start to learn about your ecosystem through these events, and so I think it was a combination of extending that lifestyle beyond the walls of the clubs, but also it was a marketing idea. It was a way to extend the brand, if you will.

Craig:

And were those first events things that Life Time conceived of themselves and created? Or did it start with sponsorships or partnerships?

Kimo:

To my understanding, I think there were a few sponsorships early on. But our CEO is, I'll say very protective of the brand. And the idea that we would put our brand on somebody else's experience and not control what that experience is like, he didn't like that idea. He liked the idea that we want to deliver a premium experience in everything that we do, therefore, we probably need to really do that effectively, we need to control that experience. So we get asked frequently if we would like to sponsor other events. We've chosen typically not to do that. We've found more success where we can kind of control and really engage with the consumer with our brand, that putting our name on somebody else's event hasn't been as effective for us.

Craig:

I remember the first time Life Time got on my radar was from the Leadville 100. And I think it was the year after I did it, the acquisition was announced, and it was really interesting because I know how much the founders of that event, how much passion and love they had for it, so it was very kind of curious when this outside entity came in and acquired that event. And then it was very heartening to see how much involvement the founding team has and still has in it, and how the character of the event didn't change.

Kimo:

Yeah. That's a great example of one where I think Life Time sponsored it for two or three years prior to the acquisition. I was actually, I came on shortly after that acquisition really, and that was my first job, was to make sure that we didn't "screw it up." And first and foremost to me, I thought it's really important to keep those founders because they're the ones that keep us engaged with the community. And they're the ones that know how to make sure that thing continues with the heart and soul that it had developed over the 25 years previous to our involvement, so yeah, I think that's an example of one where I like to think we've done an okay job of continuing that. And hearing you say that we've continued that experience, and like you say, the heart and soul of it is still there. And I think that's thanks to Ken and Merilee. And now Cole, who's Ken's son, has moved over to start helping us as Ken and Merilee reach a point of potentially retiring. We've got to have some of that continuity there in the Leadville community.

Craig:

Yeah. And obviously with mountain bike events and gravel events, any mountain event in these small communities, it's just so critical that you have the local team involved, because as you said, it's sort of the heart and soul of the event, and no one wants to lose that.

Kimo:

Right.

Craig:

LeLan, maybe that's a good time for you to introduce yourself as part of the team at the event formerly known as DK, now known as Unbound, which we'll get into later. Why don't you introduce yourself and what you do in the family?

LeLan:

Yeah. Well, I was one of those former owners of DK Promotions at the time. And we'd built up this DK event. And it was just a little over two years ago now that Life Time acquired us. Member of our team were getting on in the years, and we knew that there needed to be a strategy for a succession, if you will. And Kimo was one of the first people saying, "Hey, we want to make sure that you are part of this." In fact, I think it was we don't want to acquire this without you staying on board and helping us run it. So I now work for Life Time as the event director for the Unbound family of events, so that's our training camps in the spring, Unbound of course, first weekend after Memorial Day, our summertime lunar ride, and then that also led into the creation of Big Sugar down in Arkansas, which I help oversee.

Craig:

Yeah. That brings me back to a year ago in 2019. I had visited the Big Sugar preview ride in Bentonville, which was awesome in October. Life Time had announced its acquisition of Crusher in the Tushar. There was all these big things, and I think as one member of the community, I was so looking forward to 2020. I thought we had so many amazing things planned. I think you guys share that with me. At a strategic level, once COVID came into our lives in February, March, I think it really started kicking up. Obviously, Bobby Wintle's event, The Mid South, was probably the biggest event on the calendar that actually just managed to kick off. How did you guys see that and start thinking about it? It must've been incredibly challenging.

LeLan:

Yeah. I mean, there was so much unknown for everyone as we came into the start of 2020. Initially, to be honest, I personally didn't think it would affect our event, which was end of May, would've been end of May this year. And so you're there in January, February, and we're thinking, "Okay. If we all play by the rules and we kind of isolate ourselves for a few weeks, this ought to just go away," and boy, were we wrong. I was certainly wrong in that assumption. And so it didn't take long to go from, "Yeah, we're still having event this year," to, "We need to pick a postponement date." Then you get into the summer and you're like, "We're not having anything this year. And so it was, definitely didn't see that coming, for sure.

Craig:

Kimo, from a corporate level, obviously when this started coming down, it affected all of your events. What was that like on your end? And how did you kind of react corporately to the situation?

Kimo:

Well, yeah, at the corporate level obviously there was a lot of focus on the fact that we had to close down 154 clubs across the country. And boy, what a huge impact on our business. I'll say we're ... I preach this to our team a lot, I'm just incredibly thankful that in a time like this, we have a big company like Life Time behind us. There's a lot of people out there say, "Life Time, this big corporate giant coming in and gobbling up events and these things." And I think, "Well, these are the times where it's a pretty solid benefit to have that bigger company behind us." And I really feel for a lot of the smaller event producers that aren't getting any support from the government, kind of like restaurants. Right? I don't know how they're surviving. And I just feel terrible for them. You know?

Kimo:

And we're so fortunate that we were able to, I mean, obviously we canceled. I think we did two events in the beginning of the year. We've canceled the rest of our events for the year. Obviously, hard when you cancel 30 plus events, that's a big, big impact both to our business and to our parent company. So the irony was it didn't happen overnight. Right? This, as LeLan said, this thing evolved. Even in March, we thought, "We still got a chance. By beginning of June, we should be good. We'll come back out of this thing." Little did we know. We're talking about next June now. You know? And when we'll be able to get events back on next year, not this year. I think the hardest, the toughest decisions for me, nobody was going to fault us for canceling an event. People would fault us if we tried to put on an event. Right?

Kimo:

You'd have probably 50% of the people would be the ones bashing you for it, and 50% would be applauding you for it. We couldn't take that ... We couldn't risk exposing people like that, so the decision was not difficult to cancel. The hardest decision for me was what to do with the team, with the company. We furloughed close to 38,000 team members across the company. And unfortunately, some of those, we still haven't been able to bring back because of this. So we've been fairly fortunate in our business. We did lose a few people along the way, but we've been able to bring a number of people back, and those are probably the hardest decisions that we've had to make this year.

Craig:

Yeah. I can only imagine. I felt like at the time, there was a lot of sort of woe is me from individual riders who were seeing the one event they were aspiring to do for the year get canceled. But at the end of the day, like you said, whether you're a larger corporation or a small event producer, this hit hard. And being able to rebound back and be someone we can count on to create events in 2021 is super important. And I hope we didn't lose any events in all this, but I think inevitably we may have.

Kimo:

I think so. I think that's yet to be seen, Craig. I think unfortunately, there will be some of the smaller, maybe some of the bigger ones too, that just don't make it through because that's tough to go a year without your ... You got your operating expense that you kind of have to live with throughout the year. And then you've got all your revenue comes from a single day event, typically.

Craig:

Totally.

Kimo:

It's tough.

Craig:

And it's not like events are these huge revenue making machines, by any means, so the margins are quite small. And if you're required to give refunds to people, et cetera, there's a lot to it. On a brighter side, you gave a lot of riders the opportunity to donate their registration fees to charities, which I thought was a great way to kind of turn the tide on this. Do you want to talk about some of the success you had with that program?

Kimo:

Yeah. Really good question. We did. We selectively chose a number of events and gave people the option to donate to a variety of charities. In most situations, in most markets where we do events, we also through our Life Time Foundation, we support and are implementing school, kind of an improved school lunch program across the country, and doing what we call eliminating the harmful seven. And there's seven ingredients that we believe just children shouldn't be exposed to in school lunches. And so we've now extended that. We're impacting about two and a half million kids across the country through the Life Time Foundation. And those communities, our athletes are starting to recognize that it's pretty neat what we're able to do in those communities where we host events. And so Emporia, where LeLan lives, is a good example. We've entered into an agreement with the Emporia School District. And a number of our athletes for what was DK, now to be Unbound, chose to donate their entries. We gave them the ... We guaranteed people the opportunity to get back in this next year, but they donated this year's entry fee to support the lunch program in that school district.

Kimo:

And it evolved from not just eliminating the harmful seven in these school lunch programs, but it actually evolved into a COVID relief type lunch program in a lot of our school districts around the country that turned into not only a COVID lunch relief, but many, many districts, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, where there were really high unemployment rates and families that were really impacted. Leadville's a perfect example. I think in total we raised almost a quarter million dollars for that school district to support their COVID relief program throughout the summer and kept feeding not only kids, but their families, where they just didn't have access because they were unemployed. So really grateful for our athletes that jumped in to help out, and it was pretty impressive.

Craig:

Yeah. It's a great result, considering how much corporate level trauma, with all the employees you had to furlough, and all these sort of negative things going on, to at least be able to put something positive back into the world.

Kimo:

Yeah, I think so. We're really fortunate and appreciative of everybody that stepped up to help.

Craig:

So LeLan, I know last year, DK pivoted to a virtual event. And then there was also a virtual event for Big Sugar. I don't want to drill too much into the details of the virtual event. But is there anything that you guys learned running virtual events that might be useful going forward?

LeLan:

Yeah. I think the biggest lesson was learning that virtual events can be really good and really useful for a lot of people. Take our camp, for example. We had a virtual training camp, and that reached over 1000 people. And it really opened our eyes to the fact that our in person events can be rather limiting when you really think about it. DK, when it was owned by us had been a lottery long before Life Time acquired us because the demand was so high. We can only fit so many people in Emporia. Well, through the, I guess, forced use of virtual events this year, we realized that on top of taking people here in town, we potentially can create meaningful opportunities to engage with people that aren't able, either aren't able to travel to Emporia, or weren't selected to come to Emporia. And so it is certainly our hope that moving forward that we can use virtual activities to continue to engage people beyond those that can come here to Emporia. And so that was definitely an aspect that was exciting to me.

LeLan:

We had, like I say, I refer to our virtual training camp, what a great success that was. And in fact, we were able to add content that we wouldn't normally have in our in person training camp. We were able to engage more sponsors that don't always travel to town to be with the in person athletes. And we just had all kinds of information and great activations and great input from a lot of people to make that happen. And I think we only charged something like $10 to join that virtual training camp, and so the value return was immense. And I believe those profits were donated to either the Life Time Foundation, maybe a combination of organizations, so that was definitely in my opinion a huge success.

Craig:

Yeah. I think that was definitely one of those interesting silver linings to 2020, was just that we fleshed out a number of different virtual formats, and some of them are going to stick and some of them aren't. But at the end of the day, I just think it was a way to bind the community together in a time where we desperately wanted community, but we couldn't safely come together.

LeLan:

Our goal has certainly been to invite and welcome in as many people from the gravel community as we could. And as we've alluded, because of the use of our lottery, because the demand was so high, we couldn't capture all those people. So this will definitely give us an opportunity to engage. Will it be the same as riding hundreds of miles in the Flint Hills? No, not quite. But again, I think we can create a value in that experience that is appropriate and still makes the end user feel like they were a part of something pretty special.

Craig:

Yeah. I think one of the offshoots of that was a lot of great routes got created and shared across the community, which was really cool. I've benefited from going to different towns and riding routes that someone posted in their virtual DK race. The other big thing obviously in 2020 was DK rebranding to Unbound. For either of you, would you like to talk a little bit about that process and how you arrived at the name Unbound and what it means to you?

Kimo:

Want to take that one, LeLan?

LeLan:

Well, sure. Yeah. Well, it was a process indeed. As you can imagine, DK had positioned itself as the world's premier gravel event. And it was going on 15 years in 2020. This would've been the 15th running. And so imagine renaming your 15 year old child or something like that. It was a tall order. But we did, I really liked the process that our marketing team implemented. They pulled together a great committee of people, or group of people, if you will. And that included community members from right here in Emporia, key members from the Life Time team, couple professional athletes that were well involved with DK sponsors. So it was a very eclectic group of people from ... And not everyone was necessarily a hardcore cyclist. They just had an interest or a stake in the event in some way. And we invited them into the process, and it was just pages upon pages of words and phrases and names that we liked. And you start the process of scratching names out.

LeLan:

And Unbound was one that always just kind of was there. And we would always kind of pursue something else, and it wouldn't work for a number of reasons. And Unbound was there. And I really started to think about what that word signifies, what it means. It became very clear to me personally, a lot of people on the committee, that Unbound does represent the spirit of not only this event, but in gravel in general. The whole purpose of gravel was to get out there with nothing but a paper map and a cue sheet, and your own legs and whatever supplies you could carry, and to really be free out there and explore uninhibited. And that's what Unbound refers to really. And so we found it to be a name that was very applicable and captured the spirit in a lot of ways.

Craig:

Yeah. I think the end result was great, and I like the name, personally.

LeLan:

Well, good. Many people do. If you go onto social media, you might think otherwise, but the critics, as they tend to be, are really few in number. And there were some people obviously who didn't want the name to change at all. And we understand that, and so they likely weren't going to like anything that we produced, and that's okay. We understand there's a lot of emotion wrapped up into it. But when we were floating this around, it was clear to us that partners, industry partners in particular, really liked the name, and that really helped us solidify that selection.

Craig:

Nice. Well, let's get practical now. I really want to have a conversation for our listeners and the community at large about how events can be run safely in 2021. Unbound is scheduled for June 5th, 2021 at this point. And I know from talking to you, LeLan, you guys have fleshed out a lot of precautions. Can you talk through what Unbound is going to look like and how it may differ? And this again, for the listener, this is assuming we're still in the really tricky state of the pandemic, as we are now.

LeLan:

Yeah. And I warn everyone going into everything that I'd love to share here that this is a largely hypothetical. Here we sit in December, and as a production team, we desperately need to have ... We want some answers and we need to get started on our prep and planning, but those answers just don't exist. I go and I talk to my public health officials and city officials here, and they say, "LeLan, what do you want me to tell you? That's six months away. I can't tell you what next week is going to look like, let alone June." But the positive is that most everyone, everyone I've spoken with is optimistic that a bike ride can take place in June here in Emporia. And that's really reassuring to us.

LeLan:

And what that means is everything else might look pretty different. And there's obviously going to be a lot of safety stuff that I want to share. But at the end of the day, we think that a bike ride can take place. And that can happen because we can spread out the start line a little bit. And we're talking about hundreds of miles of Flint Hills, open air. There's really few better opportunities for us to have an even than out in the Flint Hills riding our bikes. And so I think that really lends a lot of positivity to something will take place.

LeLan:

But when you look at the other facets of the event, we really believe that we can make some alterations that still give the participants, our athletes, a great experience. So you take a look at our riders meeting. Okay, it has been a phenomenal gift to be able to gather in the Granada Theater and have those riders meetings. And the energy in that room is eclectic. Probably not going to happen in '21. We'll probably live stream that, and we'll still be able to disseminate the information. We just won't be able to gather in the theater. Packet pickup, we're really going to have to reduce the numbers and control the flow, so we'll probably do things like only the rider will be allowed to go in and sign in for themselves. As much as we love for the family to be a part of that experience, we just, there's not a ... We can't risk having the extra bodies in there.

LeLan:

Naturally, social distancing and mask usage, assuming that is still in use, will be followed wherever applicable. That's kind of a given. But just controlling the flow a little bit, reducing the numbers in any of our indoor facilities, those types of things. Our Finish Festival is going to probably be the biggest difficulty because if anyone's ever been to our finish line, it is thousands of people. I've heard as many as 10,000, some estimates have been. And they're milling around within a few block radius, and they've got a beer in their hand and a taco or pulled pork sandwich in the other. And you obviously can't have a mask when you're doing that. So that's an area where we're going to really have to scrutinize what we're able to do, what's prudent to do. But again, I go back to our worst case scenario. It may just be a finish line. There might not be quite the fanfare in years past.

LeLan:

But I don't think most of our athletes will be too upset about that. Is it great to have the crowd there? Absolutely. But if it means being able to have a ride, and that's a part we might have to give on a little, then it's something we're certainly willing to concede on here. But that's an area where we have a little bit of time to figure out what this thing might be looking like come springtime. It's an area that we'll have all the scenarios from A to Z try to figured out. And by the time we get to March, April, we'll know where in that line where we might have to be in terms of execution.

Craig:

Yeah. I think I heard Michael Marx from BWR say that putting on an event is twice the effort in the current situation that it has been previously.

LeLan:

Twice is being generous. I mean, we've got multiple plans and schemes and angles. And we want to be prepared for just about any scenario. And we feel pretty prepared as of today.

Craig:

Yeah. It's comforting that you guys have posted your COVID guidelines already on the website. I really like to see that.

Kimo:

Yeah. Craig, I think there's even maybe a bigger picture question that's still yet to be answered. It's something we don't know. And it probably extends beyond just our little industry. But in general, is there going to be ... We're starting to think about it. Will there be some period of time where it may just be required for certain activities, for certain businesses that you show up with a negative COVID test and/or proof of a vaccination? And I don't know that we're going to lead in that area nationwide, but I think there may be scenarios, and there's always a lot of talk about that, that some industries may just, they may go to that for some period of time.

Kimo:

If you're going to get on an airplane, countries and states are doing that now. To get into Hawaii, you have to show that you got a negative test from the last 72 hours. And I think we're going to see that evolve, and we'll probably see more of that over the next, I would imagine, 12 months. And so we're prepared. We're preparing for that scenario that we have to think about across all of our events. Potentially, it could be that you have to ... We end up having to be ... A municipality or local jurisdiction might require us to check that every single person that's coming has had a vaccine or has had a negative test in the last 48 hours or whatever it is.

Craig:

Yeah. It's sort of mind boggling to play out. I mean, do you have two finish lines for some people who have been vaccinated and some people who haven't? It's incredible.

Kimo:

It is.

Craig:

But I think any way you slice it, 2021's going to be a little bit topsy turvy. I think you do have the benefit, as you said, LeLan, of being a June event gives us a little bit of time to kind of see how things are playing out. There's a couple other big events on the gravel calendar that will have gone off, and hopefully gone off without a hitch so we can learn some lessons.

LeLan:

Even right here locally, not everyone ... If you've been to Emporia, you've probably learned this, but this is a big disc golf town as well. In fact, in April, Dynamic Discs, which is located here, hosts the world's largest disc golf tournament. So we'll also get to take some clues from them right here at home how that is operated and how it goes off. And so we do have that good fortune of being right in the middle of the calendar year. And so we'll get to learn from others on best practices as well.

Craig:

Yeah, absolutely. I think it's critical that throughout the gravel cycling community, if a rider's intending on attending an event, that they really take a high level of personal responsibility for their attendance. And whether that is in representing a negative test, or just showing up and following the rules, I think that's where we're going to fall down because I know all the event producers I've been speaking to, they know how important it is for them to set the right stage. But if the riders themselves don't take the responsibility, that's where the challenges are going to come.

LeLan:

Yeah. If you think about it, we utilize the help of a few hundred volunteers. It's an extraordinary number, but that's to manage thousands of people, not just riders, but their support crews and spectators. And so we can't have eyes everywhere all the time, so when we make a statement like, "We need you to wear a buff or face covering on the start line," we need your participation in that because it's very difficult to go row by row, person by person, and enforce something like that. It's simply our expectation that you're coming here with the goodwill and a desire to participate the way we need you to.

Craig:

Yeah. And I think obviously the other big thing is just responsibility during the travel to Emporia. Being a small community and drawing athletes from all over the world, that's huge. You could be coming from a territory that does not have precautions in place and bringing it to a community that does.

LeLan:

Yeah. I think most people recognize that even in larger communities, our larger cities, the healthcare system is overwhelmed. But then you look at a place like Emporia, which has 20 hospital beds, we just can't facilitate a big outbreak, so it could be very detrimental.

Craig:

With the precautions stated behind us, how excited are you to get the community back together this year?

LeLan:

Well, nothing would please me more. It's been an interesting year, where to Kimo's point, I've been grateful throughout the entire year to have employment, to continually be working towards the next objectives. But it's just felt weird. What have we been working towards? What have we accomplished this year? While I know we've accomplished things, it's been hard to recognize and see those things when you don't have those tangible events to execute. So nothing would please me more to get back to, I'll state it again, to just have a bike ride. I really think if we just view it as that, I think we can accomplish that much and get back to really what all this is really about, which is riding our bikes in beautiful locations and coming together as community in whatever capacity we're able.

Craig:

Yeah. And I know you're both cyclists yourselves, so you both personally must be missing the normalcy of group rides.

Kimo:

I'd say a little bit. Yeah. Definitely. I miss, whether I'm in our events, whether I'm riding, or just there to pick up trash, or whatever I do around the events. I miss it. I miss seeing that. There's nothing more. I mean, I'm telling you, if you stand at the finish line of Unbound, or Leadville, or any of these events, and if you don't shed a tear at some point, you must not have a heart. I mean, it is unbelievable the power that these events have to change people's lives and to have lasting impressions on the riders and their families, I mean kids seeing their parents do that. The example that people are setting for the next generation and all these things, it's really powerful and impactful. And it's all gone right now. That made me more anxious to see that than to necessarily cross the finish line myself, or get out on a group ride. Yeah, that's the part that's hard. It's a bummer that we've lost that for a year.

Craig:

Yeah. I mean, there's absolute magic in the last person to cross the finish line. You see the pros come across very quickly and are very able to have conversations and go on their business, sign some autographs. But that last person who turned themselves inside out, and maybe this is something they've never done before, I mean, it definitely gives me goosebumps even talking about seeing those athletes come across the line.

LeLan:

Oh, absolutely. As you well know, we are there, Unbound finish line is open until 3:00 AM Sunday morning. We're standing there until the very last come home.

Craig:

Amazing. Well, there's absolutely a reason why Unbound is on a lot of gravel athletes' bucket list of events to attend, for sure. So Kimo, for Life Time, you've got a suite of gravel events throughout the year. Have all the dates been set for the big events at this point?

Kimo:

They are all set, yeah. So all the big ones, we've kind of put them back on their traditional dates. At this point, we're contemplating whether or not something in the spring might have to get moved to the fall, things like that. As far as the gravel events right now though, it looks like we've got everything kind of where it traditionally has been in the past.

Craig:

Okay, because Crusher was later in the summer, I believe. And then Big Sugar obviously is at the end of the year. Right?

Kimo:

Right. Right. We've still got Crusher in the middle of July. And then, yes, Big Sugar for late October.

Craig:

Okay. And have you set the stage for when event registration for those later events will be available?

Kimo:

We have, actually. And I don't have the dates in front of me. LeLan, you probably know better than I do.

LeLan:

You'll have to fact check me on Crusher. It's either mid January or early February. Big Sugar, we have not made that announcement, but look for a springtime opening for that registration.

Craig:

Okay. For both of those events, I imagine there's a lot of deferred athletes that are potentially given the first slots.

LeLan:

You are correct, yeah. But I'm glad you bring that up because even with Unbound, there were many people who donated their entries, or asked for a refund. A lot have deferred. But I do want to mention to the listeners that there will be a lottery registration for Unbound. There will be new spots available for athletes. And that opens up January 15th. So definitely be, if you're wanting in this year, there's still opportunity.

Craig:

Awesome. That's super exciting to hear. I just sort of assumed that it was already locked up.

LeLan:

Yeah. And that's why I'm glad you brought it up because I imagine most people are feeling that way. And I don't think we've made big to do about that. This is one of the first times we've been able to get on air with anyone and talk about our registration will be opening. So definitely put your names in the hat.

Craig:

And then for registered athletes, is there a deferment or refund policy that you guys have already crystallized?

LeLan:

Yeah. Another great question, I'm glad we're hitting on that because in years past, we've taken a pretty hard no refunds. And even before Life Time had acquired us, we had moved to a no transfer policy, which we used to allow transfers. But this has definitely made us realize that this was something that's obviously out of everyone's control, but we did want to recreate a deferral and a refund policy that would be more generous and maybe a little more fair to everyone. So folks, and I'll kind of rattle some of this off, but you can visit unboundgravel.com, look at our COVID-19 guidelines. And you'll see our little Q and A, which includes the deferral refund policy. But from 90 days out or more, there's a 70% refund available to the riders if we need to cancel the event because of COVID. Then it goes down to 50%. And then within the last couple months, a 40% refund.

LeLan:

Now I will say this, obviously it'd be our goal to try to postpone. Because we do take place in June, there is a chance like we had tried in 2020 to maybe try further down the road in the year. But if it all comes down to cancellation, then we do have a policy in place for a refund. It's a little more generous than in years past, and an outright deferral at no cost as well if a person wants to try again the next year. Now that's there, but we're not going to need it. Right? Knocking on wood, and it's not going to be an issue. We're going to be able to ride, let's hope.

Craig:

Yeah. Let's just keep all our thoughts intending that way. I'm definitely struggling a little bit as I'm sitting in Los Angeles County and they've just entered another strict lockdown period. As I'm looking online to register for events, it's hard to get my head around it.

LeLan:

That's the struggle we find ourselves in now is it's hard to take the blinders and put them on. We need the blinders on right now. We don't want to see what's happening today. And we need to think about what we hope things are looking like next year.

Craig:

Yeah. That's absolutely right. I mean, I think we're all optimistic about where things are going. It may not go as fast as we'd like to go, but I think things are finally starting to head in the right direction in terms of potential vaccine, et cetera. Well, gentlemen, thank you so much for the time. I appreciate you talking about what's been going on at Life Time and about Unbound and the other events you've got on the calendar for this coming year. I'm excited, and again, optimistic that I may be able to see you both in person again.

LeLan:

Definitely.

Kimo:

Oh, we will. We'll see you, Craig. We'll be there.

Craig:

Great. Thanks, guys.

Kimo:

Thanks for having us.

Craig:

Take care. Happy holidays.

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