Our View: The extra mile


They biked 422 miles.

Some made the trek for fun, some for fitness, and some did it for both.

Regardless of the reason, many of those participating in the 22nd annual Ride the Rockies event in June agreed Craig was one of their - if not their - favorite stop.

Perhaps it was the record-setting number of kegs they consumed at the beer garden, or perhaps it was the friendly places and smiling faces the cyclists met along on the streets and at the shops.

The editorial board thinks those reasons certainly contributed to the event's sucess, but the board also believes the success of the Craig tour stop started way before the first biker made his or her way into city limits.

The city of Craig worked on cleaning the streets, painting sidewalks and making the town look its best. The beatification committee spearheaded an effort for a Clean-up Craig Week with area organizations pitching in and picking up trash. Ditto for some residents.

The results of these efforts?

In the Ride the Rockies' first return to Craig in 12 years, 2,000 to 3,500 came to town for the cycling. In part, that helped equate to $315,485 in city sales tax revenue during the month of June - a 24 percent increase from June 2006.

While the exact number of what the Ride the Rockies brought to town cannot be confirmed, there is little doubt of the one-day stopover's impact on the month's sales tax revenue.

That is simply the short-term benefit.

The long-term benefit will depend on how those bikers were treated while here. Did they enjoy the trip enough to make Craig a stop on some other trip, whether they are on vacation or deciding to stay here instead of our up-hill neighbor when traveling?

From the comments we've heard, editorial board members believe yes, Craig put its best foot forward and we will have return visitors.

To this point, much of this editorial is nothing that hasn't appeared in some form or fashion on the opinion page within the past year. But there are two differences.

One, there is economic proof of what the Ride the Rockies and big events such as it can do.

And two, while the work the agencies and people did prior to Ride the Rockies coming to town was great and should be applauded, these are actions that should have been taking place before the cycling event was announced. And such actions should continue taking place afterward.

We have a chance to make a great first impression every day. Let's continue to show the pride that we displayed during Ride the Rockies. Treat every day as if 2,000 to 3,000 potential guests are coming town.

Keeping the city clean and having great customer service is key. The Craig Chamber of Commerce is hosting a customer service training Oct. 11, which the editorial board believes all businesses can benefit from - either as a refresher in some of the practices businesses already use, or a chance for some new thoughts on how to provide better service.

Make no mistake, this training isn't just for employees, but for managers and owners, as well. Great customer service comes from the top down. The editorial board points to KFC/Taco Bell as an example of strong top-down management.

The point is, we have seen what a great success can come from going the extra mile.

And the editorial board believes visitors will travel many miles when they receive the extra mile kind of treatment.


rhammel 9 years, 8 months ago

Ride The Rockies... It is a great event for the advanced cyclist. The passes that it traverses are not for your average weekend warrior.

On the other hand, is the "Where The Hell's Maybell?" ride. It is unpromoted and cost $15 per sweatshirrt, $5 for breakfast and $5 to have your bike brought back to Craig. There is a water and orange slice stop at Lay.

Now if the promoters of the event (Craig City Parks and Rec) were to broaden their horizons, there is money to be made for charity. Most of the rides throughout Colorado, charge $40-$60 for their events. They give out the same goodies and meal (sometimes charging extra), plus a patrol truck to help stranded cyclists. The rest stops (like the one at Lay), have more snacks and a variety of sport drinks, plus a porta-potty. The difference is promotion. Promoters use flyers to bike shops throughout the region, plus advertise in Action.com. Most cyclist that I know, use Action .com to plan their rides.

The Maybell ride is early in the season and a good warm-up for Elephant Rock, where 10,000 of your closest friends, gather in Castle Rock, to ride one of five courses. The proceeds go to a variety of charities. Maybell's could go to the Boys and Girls Club or some other worthy local charity.

Maybell could be developed into a major event, attracting riders from all over Colorado. It just needs promoting.

Rick Hammel


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