ANDOVER — Those who took up the Tough Mudder challenge the last four years at Tall Pines ATV Park will not be back in 2017. Tough Mudder will move on to Kissing Bridge in Glenwood next year rather than returning for the final year of a five-year contract with Tall Pines.
Kissing Bridge will host Tough Mudder Aug. 5-6.
Joe Kent of Tall Pines said he was contacted around the end of August, a couple of days after Tall Pines hosted a Tough Mudder event Aug. 27-28.
“I was contacted by our contract lawyer, (Andrew Sigal) from Tough Mudder. He does our contact negotiations with Tough Mudder.” Kent said Tuesday. “He was very sad to tell me that they are leaving our venue.”
Kent said Sigal told him the move to Kissing Bridge was being made due to declining participation at the Tall Pines Tough Mudder.
“It's just a purely numbers thing. There weren't enough people coming the last couple of years to warrant them doing it again,” Kent said. “It was nothing we (Tall Pines) did wrong. It was purely attendance.
“I'm very sad. I was very disappointed to hear the news,” he said. Kent said Tough Mudder advertised on the Internet, but did not promote the Andover event locally.
Kent said Tough Mudder has participants fill out a survey every year and participants apparently felt the drive from Buffalo to Andover was too long.
“It's (Kissing Bridge) not far from some major highways,” he said. ”They have a medical staff already there that knows everything about the ski slopes.”
There are also the restaurants, bars and lodging places close to Kissing Bridge, Kent said, though, he noted, Wellsville has lodging as well.
Kent said he's curious to see how many participants Tough Mudder gets at Kissing Bridge next year. He said he understands why Tough Mudder made the move to Kissing Bridge rather than coming back to Tall Pines. Still, he wishes Tough Mudder was coming back for the final year of its contract.
They gave us a venue fee. It was the same flat rate for five years,” he said, declining to say how much the venue fee was.
Kent said Tough Mudder had the option to end the five-year contract with Tall Pines at any time.
“There are clauses or some sort of penalties if we try to end it before five years,” he said.
“I've got some ideas, but I don't know. I've had some conversations with some other mud run companies. I've talked about some concerts. We're kind of up in the air on that,” he said. “It was a really good time while they (Tough Mudder and its participants) were here. “Let's see what else we can do.”