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By Mary Jo Coulehan
Special to The PREVIEW
Pagosa’s population will swell by about 2,500 people as cyclists and their support teams arrive on Tuesday, June 11, for the 2013 Ride the Rockies bicycle tour.
The ride begins in Telluride, continues onto Cortez and the cyclists will arrive in Pagosa Springs via Durango after a three-year hiatus.
We expect a mid-morning to early afternoon arrival time on the 11th, allowing the riders plenty of time to visit and enjoy our town.
Riders will arrive in town and get settled at lodging accommodations. They will be staying at commercial lodging properties throughout town as well as camping at Pagosa Springs High School. There will be multiple busses to transport the riders throughout the community. The busses will have east and west routes. The east route will go out to the High Country Lodge and the west route will turn around at 1st Southwest Bank. There will be bus stops at major points along the route such as at the high school, hotel hubs and City Market.
The riders will have several options for lunch and dinner. When they arrive, they will have food available at our restaurants, at the high school and, beginning at noon, from food vendors in Town Park. They will also probably eat at least two meals while in town and will be looking for variety and tasty fare.
The Party in the Park will take place from noon until 9 p.m., with food served until 8. There will be lots of entertainment, with a KWUF live remote from the high school and the park from noon until 3. Beginning at 3, there will be live entertainment: Bob Hemenger will get the party started with his fantastic saxophone sounds. At about 4:30-4:45, Brooks-I will perform. This band will rock the park with original and top hit songs. Around 6:30, The Black Lillies will perform. The Black Lillies are being held over from the Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival where they will perform on Sunday, June 9. Thanks to the FolkWest organization for assisting in securing this popular, Grand Ole Opry, high-energy band. If you missed their performance on Reservoir Hill, don’t miss this free concert in the park on Tuesday, June 11.
The Chamber has Ride the Rockies posters of various sizes for businesses to display in their windows. We encourage you to post these flyers and let the riders know that your business supports this annual bicycle tour and that you are open. The Chamber has also been asked to conduct an economic impact survey at the end of the tour.
The Chamber will man a satellite visitor information booth at the high school when the riders arrive. We will have Visitor Guides and some other information available. If your business would like to place a special flyer at the information table, contact the Chamber. Flyers are due Friday, June 7.
Ride the Rockies is also looking for restaurants that might want to open early. There will be food available at the high school but, again, some riders will be looking for restaurants or coffee houses where they can eat early Wednesday, June 12. If you are interested in opening early — 5:30-6 a.m. — let the Chamber know so that we can highlight your business. If you have any questions about the tour, contact the Chamber at 264-2360. Pagosa has won the Town with the Best Hospitality for past rides. Let’s give this year’s cyclists another dose of that great Pagosa hospitality.