Steamboat's June calendar packed with events

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— Tourists will be rolling into Steamboat in June -- literally.

The first month of serious summer tourism will see three major bicycling events and two vintage automobile events that could combine to attract more than 5,000 people for short visits to the Yampa Valley. Add in the familiar Steamboat Marathon, a couple of Triple Crown baseball tournaments and a convention of civic leaders from across the state and the month, its last two weeks in particular, look very busy.

Riley Polumbus, public relations director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said three cycling events within a single month hold the potential to increase awareness of Steamboat as a destination for cyclists, but they go further than that.

"The biking events gain exposure for Steamboat as a whole and let people know what we have to offer so they'll want to come back," Polumbus said. Although the tours typically provide camping opportunities and group meals, the Steamboat dates will be different from other stops on both tours in June.

The Ride the Rockies tour (June 22 and 23) and the Tenth Annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado (June 29 and 30) have planned stopover days in Steamboat that give participants the ability to reunite with family and friends here for a day of relaxation in the midst of the cycling marathon. The truly dedicated can sign up for a supplemental bike ride during the stopover.

"With a stopover day, that's just a flood of opportunities for people to try out restaurants," Polumbus said.

The third bicycling event on the calendar is a new one, The Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat Bike Race. It is a mountain bike race that takes place June 12 and 13 and requires teams of cyclists to ride around the clock on Mount Werner.

"That's the fastest growing segment of any form of bike racing," Polumbus said, "and with The Rio as title sponsor, they have a chance to get exposure on the Front Range."

The Rio has restaurants in Steamboat and on the northern Front Range near Fort Collins, Polumbus said. Already, she said, organizers have had interest from more than 250 participants.

June tourism begins in earnest on the sixth with the 23rd annual Steamboat Springs Marathon, half marathon and 10K. Triple Crown hosts its opening youth fast pitch softball tournament June 11-13 with the Yampa River Festival taking place the same weekend.

Triple Crown returns June 18-20 along with the 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup June 18 and 19. Board members of the Main Street Project have indicated they intend to do more to build public awareness of the classic car event this year. Perry-Mansfield will also host a dance and theater festival that week.

The Colorado Municipal League will bring 600 to 700 people to the both the Sheraton and Steamboat Grand hotels for its annual conference June 22-26. Typically, conferees bring family members to this convention. The conference leads right into the biggest weekend of the month, with the pro rodeo series kicking off June 25. Strings in the Mountains will have a special opening celebration in its new location with an "open tent" concert June 25 and a concert by Grammy and Oscar winner Randy Newman June 26. There also will be a three-on-three soccer tournament that weekend.

As soon as that packed weekend schedule is over, the Great Race antique automobile race will roll into town on Monday, June 28. It will be followed closely by the Bicycle Tour of Colorado.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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