Letter (Sept. 2): Eliminate bike race snafus
September 2, 2013
Eliminate bike race snafus
I would like to applaud Pitkin County Commissioner's Rob Ittner's suggestion that an independent committee, separate from the city of Aspen's promotion, be established to handle logistics of the USA Pro Challenge bike race.
Aspen summer offerings with large drawings among visitors, enriching the town's economy, include the Aspen Institute with its Ideas Festival and many seminars that follow, such arts as dance, theater and displays of visual art, gatherings such as the environmental conference AREDay, the writers' conference Summer Words and, not least, the Aspen Music Festival.
The Aspen Music Festival is in its 63rd year, features roughly 200 faculty and visiting artists, some 700 students, and is patronized by thousands of visitors purchasing everything from single tickets to season passes.
The bike race is, popular as it is, a 3-year-old, two-day event. There is no reason we can't enjoy both, expanding what Aspen has to offer, but we must avoid calamities of timing as happened this year, when the race involved closing the highway to the airport for four hours precisely on the day after the festival, when massive numbers of musicians were headed toward career commitments elsewhere — commitments that in some cases they were unable to fulfill.
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A committee dedicated to coordination instead of just promotion could eliminate such snafus. We who live here can dodge and weave around special events, but visitors who find themselves stymied may not come back.
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