MOD 017: Build Better Permits With A Proposal Process

Merchants of Dirt Episode #17

Obtain the legal permission to use the venue by developing a process for getting your permits approved each and every time.

Key Take Away #1: What’s in a Permit Proposal?

Your proposal should have all the relevant details outlined in an organized way.

Race overview, course design, categories, schedule, venue layout, prices, rules — every detail that you would have included for those racers who pre-register, or what you will have on your website.

Only in the proposal, you have it in a presentation form that breaks each detail down into an easy-to-understand form.

The secret to a good proposal is to remove the fluff and keep it simple. So what specifically is in a proposal?

Cover Page Snapshot: This is for your basic race information like event name, race director name, and dates.

Schedule At-a-Glance: Specify what venue(s) are you asking for and what you plan on doing there.

Details: Provide you schedule and a breakdown of what will happen at each time in the schedule.

Maps and Locations: Show what parts of the venue you plan on using and where you plan on putting things.

Categories and Classes: Show what kind of diversity, requirements, and totals you will be expected in each category.

Prices: Specify how much it will cost a racer to participate.

Emergency Response: Detail your emergency plan to include nearest emergency care centers, insurance, and staff.

Contact: Specify who is ultimately in charge, their contact information, and your sponsors.

Key Take Away #2: Permit Process Strategies

So how do I make the permit process work in my favor? Here are some quick strategies for making the permit process work in your favor:

1. Make an appointment and put your face to your name: Don’t wait around for the invite to meet with park managers. Make an appointment with the property manager (or the special events coordinator) and walk your permit in before applying.

2. Trail Maintenance is a nice carrot: Property managers have limited funding and are always short staffed. If you want to make a reputation that property managers will notice, start doing or showing up to trail days.

3. Always apply early: Getting your permit approved is usually handled via an administrative process and that process has rules. Apply for your permits early, and give yourself a huge advantage over other promoters. It will give you more time to plan AND sell your events.

Bonus Tip

Get the permit now, worry about the rest later.

Your permit is the single most important document in your race.

You cannot afford to spend any money on your race until you have it, or know you’re going to get it.

So stack the deck in your favor by meeting with the property manager, providing way more detail than they would ever ask for, partnering with the park by being a good steward of the land, and doing it all early.

The permit is essential, but it not difficult to get if you work the system correctly.

So keep in mind that the more property managers you work with, the easier it will become to obtain future permits on the dates you need.

And now you know.

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Thank You for Listening

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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Kyle Bondo
Kyle Bondo is a thinker, podcaster, author, and creative strategy dragon seeking to make a small dent in the universe. He is the founder of Reckoneer, host of the Merchants of Dirt and Get Lost Racing podcasts, and an avid adventure racer.
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