Ride the Rockies to take a break in Carbondale
Aspen, CO, Colorado
CARBONDALE – Ride the Rockies will stop in Carbondale this summer for the first time in the 27-year history of the event, according to town recreation director Jeff Jackal.
The Carbondale overnight will be Monday, June 11, following a 68-mile push over McClure Pass, as 2,000 bicyclists make their way from Hotchkiss and pull into the grounds of Roaring Fork High School.
If Jackal’s plans work out, the night will be one to remember before the cyclists start for Independence Pass and Leadville on June 12.
“It’s good that it’s a low-mileage day,” Jackal said of the leg of the tour from Hotchkiss to Carbondale.
“That means they’ll be getting in here early and spending more money,” he predicted.
Jackal said the tour’s managers estimate that at every stop, of which there are six after the June 10 start in Gunnison, the tour drops as much as $250,000 in revenue on local businesses.
To make the cyclists welcome, Jackal said, he is planning to have lunch ready when they roll in to the high school grounds, a block party with a band and barbecue on Main Street that night and a breakfast of some sort the next morning.
According to Jackal, the town conducted no lobbying effort of any kind to be named as one of the overnight spots for the tour.
The tour will stop in Hotchkiss, Carbondale, Leadville, Granby and Estes Park before finishing in Fort Collins on June 15, covering a total of 442 miles, over five mountain passes and through two national parks.
Jackal said he learned in December that the tour is to stop in Carbondale.
“There were very few people that knew. I was sworn to secrecy,” he said.
Still, he said, the Days Inn and Comfort Inn motels are already booked up for that night, and he expects other lodging establishments in the area to experience the same.
“It’ll be pretty cool for Carbondale to have this,” Jackal predicted.
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