Quiznos Pro Challenge keys bike plans in Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Quiznos Pro Challenge, which will bring pro cycling to Aspen next summer, could key several days of biking events in and around town, according to organizers.
The seven-stage Quiznos event, taking place around Colorado, will bring 128 riders from Gunnison to Aspen on Wednesday, Aug. 24 via a route that takes them over both Cottonwood and Independence passes.
Local organizers hope to arrange several days of pro women’s racing leading up to the arrival of the Quiznos riders in a week that will start with the annual Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure. The Komen event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21, starting at Koch Park in Aspen.
Preliminary plans are in the works for women’s pro racing on Aug. 22-24, though those events are tentative and depend on securing permits, said Justin Todd, director of sales and marketing at The Little Nell and a member of the local planning team. The streets of downtown Aspen will be shut down for the finish of the Quiznos stage on Aug. 24, making them available for a women’s criterium in the morning, he said.
“Right now, we’re in the very preliminary stage,” he said.
Local officials, meanwhile, are scheduled to meet again Wednesday with planners of the Quiznos Pro Challenge. Medalist Sports, a management company, is organizing the inaugural state event and various details are the focus of monthly meetings with different members of the Medalist Sports team, said Nancy Leslie, special events planner for the city of Aspen.
Leslie has submitted a grant request to the city for $60,000 for the pro cycling event. The city’s Mining for Ideas program offers funding for special events proposals that draw people to town.
The local lodging community, meanwhile, will provide 718 room nights, spread over Aug. 23 and 24, for the pro tour, according to Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a local reservations agency. Quiznos will pay for some of its lodging needs, but the bulk of the accommodations – some $200,000 worth – will be complimentary, he said.
Essentially, every lodging property in town was asked to provide a third of its available inventory to help host the event, Tomcich said.
“Every single lodging property in the city, without exception, has come to the table to support this,” he told the Aspen Chamber Resort Association board of directors on Tuesday. “It’s a very substantial commitment to come up with this number of rooms to support his event this summer.”
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