MCTA considers hosting event for 2012 Bicycle Tour of Colorado |

MCTA considers hosting event for 2012 Bicycle Tour of Colorado

Joe Moylan

The Moffat County Tourism Association Board discussed Wednesday hosting a structured activity during the 2012 Bicycle Tour of Colorado.

The tour is a seven-day bike tour in the central Rocky Mountains limited to 1,500 riders. It is scheduled to take place from June 17 through 23, 2012, and to make stops in Fort Collins, Laramie, Wyo., Saratoga, Wyo., Craig, Steamboat Springs and Walden.

MCTA board members said they expect tour riders to arrive June 21 in Craig.

Bryce Jacobson, MCTA board member and Craig Daily Press publisher, said the tour event might be a good opportunity to tag Craig as a bicycle destination.

But, MCTA Board member Tammie Thompson-Booker said the tour might not be the best group to use because of problems the event has had with communities in the past.

"Unlike Ride the Rockies, which seems to be very community focused, they don't work well with communities," Thompson-Booker said. "They sort of do their own thing."

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Thompson-Booker said she called community representatives and business owners involved with the tour in previous years.

"I took it upon myself to call every community they have been to in the past," Thompson-Booker said. "They come into a community, call every hotel and block tons of rooms.

"They promise you the moon and 95 percent of their people end up camping."

Nancy Kramer, program coordinator for Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism, supported Thompson-Booker's claims and said Steamboat's marketing board has similar feelings about the bike tour.

"Even in our discussions in the marketing committee in Steamboat, they're not the best group to work with," Kramer said. "They're not nearly as organized as other groups."

Kramer recommended MCTA not go overboard on an event for the tour.

"I wouldn't do anything too structured," Kramer said. "But, you certainly want to be able to capitalize in some way off the opportunity."

Jacobson have a differing opinion.

"I understand this organization may not be that easy to work with," Jacobson said. "But, the people that bike with them are probably nice people and they have wallets."

Jacobson alluded to a debate currently taking place in neighboring Steamboat Springs to add the moniker "Bike Town USA" to the city's more aptly known nickname of "Ski Town USA."

Kramer said she attended a marketing meeting Wednesday in Steamboat Springs in which Bike Town USA was one of the topics.

"Bike Town USA is already trademarked," Kramer said. "It's been a real tough discussion up there and the community feels like it is being pulled in both directions, but if the chamber marketing board can get it approved, it's going to be utilized."

Jacobson said he thinks Craig could benefit from piggybacking on what Steamboat Springs is already trying to do with bikes.

"You can't ski Craig, but you can bike Craig," he said.

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In other action:

At its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, the Moffat County Tourism Association Board also:

• Heard a Whittle the Wood Rendezvous recap from Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation Department director.

• Heard a Craig BBQ Championship recap from George Rohrich, chief executive officer of The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

• Approved, 5-1, allocating $10,000 this year and $15,000 in 2012 to the Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism for program funding. Tammie Thompson-Booker voted against.

• Approved, 6-0, a 2012 budget narrative.

• Discussed MCTA’s event funding application.

• Discussed Weaver public education gathering.

• Discussed purchasing signage for new office space at the Centennial Mall.