Ride the Rockies to overnight in Granby | SkyHiNews.com

Ride the Rockies to overnight in Granby

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Granby, CO Colorado
Courtesy of Ride the RockiesSmall tent cities bloom where Ride the Rockies stops for the day.

The population of Granby may increase by more than 2,000 bicyclists on June 16 as Ride the Rockies bicycle tour rolls into town.

Including event staff, family and friends of riders and unregistered cyclists, that number could balloon to 3,500 people.

Granby has been selected as one of six communities to host this year’s tour, scheduled June 11-17.

Ride the Rockies is planned to start in Crested Butte and travel to Buena Vista, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Granby and finish in Georgetown. The route includes a 412-mile journey with six mountain passes and one scenic loop ride, for a total elevation gain of 22,000 feet.

This will be the ninth time in the 26-year history of Ride the Rockies that Granby has been chosen as an overnight host town.

“Granby is no stranger to Ride the Rockies,” said Tour Director Chandler Smith. “We’re thrilled to be returning and look forward to a scenic trek through Grand County en route to Berthoud Pass.”

Granby plans to host a gathering in Polhamus Park during the stay-over. Local vendors, a beer garden and music by Soul School will serve to entertain racers and their supporters, according to Granby Chamber Executive Director Sharon Brenner.

“It brings in over 2,000 people overnight, who spend money in restaurants and fill up all the lodging properties,” Brenner said. “And then, they come back.”

The cyclists who don’t rent rooms for that Thursday night will likely camp in tents at the high school, where a Ride the Rockies shuttle bus will be available to run cyclists into the business area, Brenner said.

The Ride the Rockies route changes yearly. To date, the tour has passed through as many as 42 Colorado mountain towns.

Towns benefit from publicity, tourism dollars, and fundraising opportunities. In 2010, cyclists spent an average $250,000 in a 24-hour period in each town, Smith said. Host communities oftentimes support the tour by providing lodging, community meals, and entertainment for the cyclists.

Past year’s cyclists in this non-competitive event, open to cyclists of all ages, have represented all 50 states and 18 foreign countries.

Each year, the Ride the Rockies event generates more the $1.5 million of tourism business in Colorado. The event also provides a $5,000 grant for an organization in each host community. For Granby, that organization will be determined by the Granby Town Board, according to Brenner.

The following Monday after the Ride the Rockies tour, Granby will again play host to the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, during which an estimated 1,500 riders will stay over in town.

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