Two Bicycle Tours Headed for Pagosa Springs in June

On the heels of the announcement that the Denver Post’s 2017 Ride the Rockies Tour will feature a stop in Pagosa Springs this summer, it has also been announced that the Bicycle Tour of Colorado (BTC) has chosen Pagosa Springs as their start and finish town for their 2017 tour.

The Bicycle Tour of Colorado is a loop tour finishing in the same town that it started and this year they arrive in Pagosa on June 17 and return on June 24. This year the tour stops include Antonito, Alamosa, Salida, Gunnison, Monte Vista and back to Pagosa Springs. The 23rd annual 7-day loop tour features the San Luis Valley loop and other great towns a little farther north. Cyclists will arrive in Pagosa on Saturday, June 17 in preparation for the departure day, Sunday, June 18.

In true Pagosa Springs hospitality style, the Chamber will host a “Party in the Park” this time in Yamaguchi Park for our community and the riders. BTC will headquarter at the Pagosa Springs High School.

Photo courtesy Ride the Rockies.

June will be a very busy month for Pagosa Springs, and here is the June line up so far: June 3: High School Graduation; June 9-11: Folk ‘n Bluegrass Festival on Reservoir Hill; June 9-10: The Car Show in Pagosa in Town Park; June 11: Ride the Rockies at the Pagosa Springs High School and Yamaguchi Park; June 17: arrival of Bicycle Tour of Colorado at the Pagosa Springs High School and Yamaguchi Park; June 24: return of Bicycle Tour of Colorado. Shortly thereafter will be the 4th of July activities.

Both bike tours are very community minded and encourage the host organization to include non-profit agencies and volunteers as much as possible. Here are some of the community engagement projects that will be available.

Home Stays: If you are interested in hosting a cyclist in your home for either bike tour, please contact the Chamber as soon as possible for details As a host family, you will be responsible for picking up the rider from the school and returning them the next morning. The rest is up to you! You may want to have dinner for the cyclist in your home, you may want to attend the Party in the Park; work out the details with the rider. The Chamber will take your name and contact information and pair up the riders and the homes.

Vendor Booths: For each tour we will be hosting a “Party in the Park”. This includes food vendors and a beer and wine garden. The chamber will be responsible for the beer garden and will be seeking volunteers to pour beer and wine. We will also be sending out information to the non-profit agencies about running a food booth. There will be a limited number of food booths and food should be geared to the appetites and needs of the riders. There will probably be twice the number of booths at Ride the Rockies than there will be at BTC due to the number of people attending. Depending on the number of non-profits that apply for food booths, you may not be able to have a booth at both events so that more non-profits can have the opportunity to earn some money. Non-profit agencies should look for an email from the Chamber regarding these booths.

Work Groups: There will be several duties where we will need assistance from a non-profit organization. In return for your efforts a monetary stipend will be offered depending on the task. We are looking for groups that would like to assist with tasks such as recycling and trash detail, a bike wash, bike security, traffic control and other duties. If you are interested in participating in one of these projects, please contact the Chamber. This is a great way to earn some money for your organization.

Restaurants: The community will be extremely busy especially from June 9-12. We will be reaching out to the restaurants to see if they would like to offer specials to the cyclists on both tours. Ride the Rockies also has a method where you can purchase a restaurant app for Pagosa Springs for just $50 if you would like to promote your establishment even more and list your hours and any specific information. We will also be putting together a list of restaurant specials to hand out to the cyclists. Watch for an email from the Chamber requesting this information. In addition to offering specials, please make sure that you are well-staffed with employees and food to accommodate all of the activities.

RTR Community Grant: RTR is offering one non-profit agency a $5,000 grant opportunity. The organization must be a registered 501 (c)3 agency and have programs that support recreation and/or youth education. Priority will be given to programs that incorporate cycling safety and bicycle use into their programs, increase access for low-income participants and show strong evaluation results including outcome measures. The guidelines for the grant and the application can be found on the Chamber’s website, www.pagosachamber.com or call the Chamber for more information. The deadline for the grant is March 10.

Entertainment Sponsor for RTR: Sponsorship opportunities are available for the RTR Beer Garden/Entertainment site. Sponsorships from $2,000-$5,000 are available. In return, the business will have the naming rights to the local entertainment site, logo placement on the RTR website entertainment page, in the rider manual, in the map book, in the event guide, on the sponsor board at the VIP celebration and much more. This sponsorship also includes 1 free registration and 1 guaranteed reservation to the tour depending on the level of sponsorship. To find out more about the amenities that come with this sponsorship opportunity, contact Mary Jo at the Chamber.

June 9-11 will be a time for our community to show off! It is a time for this community to pull together and organize your groups or offer to volunteer to really make this weekend a community weekend. No one person or organization can pull off such a volume of events in one weekend. We must all work together, get organized and make it happen. Please pay attention to the very important emails that will be coming from the Chamber – your responsiveness is important and a time-saving factor. Should you have any questions or you did not receive any information by February 21, please contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Mary Jo Coulehan

Mary Jo Coulehan is Executive Director of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, and also serves on a number of local and state boards.