Steamboat hotels have empty rooms during USA Pro Cycling Challenge

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— Steamboat’s inn keepers are generally enthusiastic about the exposure the resort will receive from next week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but they aren’t counting on a bonanza at check-in time.

Bea Westwater’s downtown hotel, the Alpiner Lodge, is within sight of the finish line on Sixth Street, but she still has ample rooms available.

“When I talked to the Chamber (early in the week), I told them I was 40 percent full for (Aug. 26), and they said I was among the best. I’m now at 75 percent,” said Westwater, who manages the lodge. “I’m totally baffled.”

The Alpiner offers 32 rooms and one suite. It is adjacent to Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, and Westwater has sent business to the bike shop for years while they have reciprocated. She also has consistently marketed to a select list of bicycling clubs throughout the years, so it came as a surprise that her marketing efforts highlighting the Pro Cycling Challenge have met with a tepid response.

“Most of my business on Friday has nothing to do with the bike race,” Westwater said.

From smaller properties like the Alpiner to large condominium management companies, the word is coming back that the cycling stage race may not have the immediate tourism impact that has been hoped for.

“We won’t really get a clear picture until early next week. We could see a lot of last minute reservations,” said Blair McNamara, vice president of marketing for Resort Co. “But this is an event that rides in and out of town in a short period of time.”

A one-day event isn’t built to have a significant impact on the summer’s tourism — ideally guests would stay for at least three days before a management company has to clean the condo, McNamara said.

However, the international television exposure dovetails with his goal of strengthening awareness of his company’s properties in Steamboat, Vail and Breckenridge.

In order to strengthen Steamboat’s bid for a stop on the Pro Cycling Challenge, the Resort Co. contributed 45 room nights, all close to the ski base and the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and The Steamboat Grand.

The Steamboat Grand contributed 170 room nights and Vice President and General Manager Mike Lomas said that didn’t leave him with a whole lot of rooms left for what is clearly an overnight phenomenon Friday night. However, supporting the race and its tie-in with Steamboat’s growing cycling initiatives was an important step to take, he said.

Barbara Robinson, general manager of the Holiday Inn of Steamboat Springs, said she expects her property along the route for Saturday morning’s stage from Steamboat to Breckenridge to fill up by Friday night, but she’s not overwhelmed by the demand.

“Reservations came in gradually. I had anticipated stronger demand,” Robinson said. “I don’t see it as runaway demand yet.”

The announcement that the Colorado Department of Transportation will permit camping on the side of the highway along the course also could affect lodging numbers. However, Robinson was unconcerned.

“We’ve always seen a correlation between biking and camping,” she said. “It’s not a negative. It will bring people to Steamboat who wouldn’t have come to stay in a hotel.”

Robinson, who rides her bicycle to work and along U.S. Highway 40 to Haymaker Golf Course, thinks cyclists already are gathering in Steamboat.

“It’s obvious there are a number of cyclists I’ve never seen in Steamboat before,” she said.

It’s apparent that when the big cycling event comes to Steamboat on Friday, it will bring more value in national and international exposure than it does in room nights.

“From a community standpoint, we need to step up and play our part,” McNamara said. “And from a tourism standpoint, it truly is great for the entire state.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey Boy. You sure know how to take a negitive slant toward anything cycling in the paper. No wonder your opinions get you labeled a hater.

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flower 3 years, 4 months ago

So the event to boost the town will shut down County offices (some of those folks forced taking unpaid time off), left hotel rooms open and clogg up the roads. I am guessing these people are focused on the race and will not be visiting retail stores. Sounds like we will loose alot of general tourism that benefits everyone. Does this mean forget the bike races? Maybe not, but don't mislead everyone by thinking this s a great economic boost for our local tourism economy. This is starting to resemble a Fish concert dilemma.

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

I am all for cycling events in Steamboat, and definitely want to see more... However I don't feel the full cost/benefit on this event was examined by the Pilot or city officials. Maybe only a handful of commissioners voted against funding it with city dollars? It is a tough one because the long term benefit of national exposure for Steamboat may not have an immediate tangible benefit.... And those dollars could have gone directly to improving our multi-modal transportation infrastructure, which might do more for creating new and repeat cycling tourists.

However, don't panic. I bet most people who come to spectate this event will wait until the week of to make bookings.

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mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

boy, As I have said before, seeing people out riding horses on our county would be welcome from me. Maybe from a high horse on a quiet county road, you could see that cyclists are your neighbors and most are rather friendlyand will say hello. That's hard to experence as you speed past in your truck, fueled with this "unjust enrichment" rage.

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

I think most cyclist would pay a fee/tax if it went towards road improvements, but I don't think it would change anything in terms of respect/how people operate their vehicles. I would want to have an impact study on how cyclist put wear on the road, because in that case big trucks, driving fast, etc creates more damage to roads.

Creating wider roads that may or may not be designated bike lanes are a safety matter, ie widening 131 makes it safe for everyone. US40 is extremely dangerous for motorists because there is zero shoulder, adding additional lanes/fog lines to any road is a matter of safety for everyone.

Would you agree with vehicle registration and taxes based on usage - For example I have two registered vehicles that barely get used in town, but I pay the same reg fee as someone who drives two and from town multiple trips every day from Craig, Oak Creek, Stagecoach. Plus the county has to cover the plowing/maintenance cost for all of these remote roads that lead to hobby ranches and fall apart from heavy equipment? How is that fair to me as a taxpayer who takes the bike path to work?

Unless the whole argument is based on your dislike of cyclists and your right to travel unimpeded? Because then it is just a matter of taxing and regulating what you dislike, which this country does very well ;-)

I would also like to see more horses out and about.

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fartpark 3 years, 4 months ago

It's amazing people seem surprised the bicycle crowd is not going to boost tourisim like they had hoped. Just like YVB says, the "cyclists" are like a bunch of hippies at Woodstock except now they have nutritional supplements instead of acid and mushrooms. Remember how many folks came to town when they used to have something worthwhile like the vintage car / motocross races. Motorsports is where it's at, enough with all this "green" nonsense.

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jk 3 years, 4 months ago

Zed, cyclists already feel there is no need to license their bikes since they pay to license their vehicles. Good luck getting any of them to admit there should be a charge on their beloved bikes! This whole wear and tear argument is silly, if you want to be safer out there then pony up!! Everyone else who chooses to recreate via, motor cycle, jet ski, boat, snowmobile, atv has to pay to have them licensed. Not to mention the trailers that haul them around. So I will listen to this widening the roads, 'cause it makes it safer for everyone hoopla, when I see a little sticker attached to all of the bikes in town. Oh and that is if I can see their sticker while they are deciding to go with the flow of traffic, or cut across the crosswalk, or take the sidewalk, or run a stop sign, or dodge pedestrians on the path...

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

There is a difference between a motor vehicle and a bicycle. They have a different impact on trails/roads, they require a different level of oversight by authorities. Non motorized road/trail users like horse back riders, rollerskis, running/hiking, are not a threat (despite how horrific you make them out to be). Someone doing 40mph down a trail/road on an ATV or hauling a crapped out trailer is.

Wear and tear argument is not silly at all. Seems a big part of the anti-cycling argument is fairness and how cyclists don't pay $ towards roads. Again I pay for two cars that are used very little on the roads in Routt County, how is that equal/fair to you driving from the far reaches of the County and requiring those roads to be maintained and plowed? Heavy equipment and trailers without a doubt is contributing to the degrading of county roads.

As to the demographics of cycling, take a trip to the lovely republic of Boulder and see how many affluent cyclists there are on $10,000 bike with fancy Audi cars. The reality is it has nothing to do with being green or being a hippy at Woodstock. A big part of the demographic is white, middle aged, male and affluent. Speak with any of our five bicycle shops in town and check out the price tags on those bikes.

What is your hippy/mushroom/acid argument based on? Just observation?

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

Here is a link from a 2006 study done by the National Association of Sporting Goods Retailers. 2nd most popular recreation activity(non motorized), most making $60k+, popular with doctors/lawyers.

http://stlbiking.com/cycling_demographics.htm

I think a good local example would be how many doctors/dentist in town ride bikes. I see them at the town challenge and out on the road all the time. Not to mention the numerous business owners who sponsors local cycling events and get out for rides.

And JK, I do want to see motorsports racing come back to Steamboat as part of the mix. I ride bikes and also love motorsports, but that probably fit's the cycling demographic.

Lastly, your are an idiot because everyone who rides in CO eats Honey Stinger products not Powerbars. Show a little respect to an important local business.

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mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

Really, what happened to the vintage auto races? They proved too loud for our sensitive locals. What happened to the Rally? Too expensive to continue. What happened to Triple Crown? Locals cut their numbers because its too expensive to build the fields they needed. Now cycling is filling the gap and the anti-tourist locals are once again ralling to undermine another activity that is bringing visitors into town. What's next, attacking the ski industry for the negitive impacts we all feel when 10,000 skiiers come to visit? Why not all this anti tourist talk when discussing the air program or the tax funded daylighting of Burgess creek?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

The rally track was originally on mostly vacant streets that got developed. It was not noise complaints from locals, but safety concerns from driving past too many houses and front yards. Even a preschool got built on the inside of the rally course.

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

"UNJUST ENRICHMENT" implies that the benefit is at the expense of someone else or an enrichment with no legal basis (Isn't it usually a term used for property and contract labor?)

Show me some examples of $ spent that only benefit cyclists and don't improve the overall safety and flow of roads because my sense is you are overblowing it. Fog lines are getting painted on roads regardless of bikes, because they help drivers stay in the lane. There is debate as to where that line should be but the cost of painting does not change... Shoulders likewise are a matter of safety on high speed roads. You can't honestly say US40 is not a nightmare in the winter with no shoulder!? Another example is the very wide shoulder added to Highway 131 before entering the canyon to Oak Creek. - I don't recall any discussion of how it would help bikes when this was constructed, it was based on CDOT safety regulations, which enrich everyone who drives that road every day. It just happens to make for a very safe cycling road.

They definitely are not using any fancy chip seal on River Rd for cyclists or widening any of the popular bike routes...

The sharrows and share the road signs are probably a good one to call out, but I don't know if most cyclists even want these. Marked bike lanes on Yampa and Oak St have been worth the cost in my mind...

So basically a few road markings, guess on total cost? That probably equals the cost for replacing all of the signs on Buffalo pass that were shot up/vandalized this past year by Slednecks.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

The chip and seal was a mess, but that fiasco would have affected the course for just one year. The bigger issue was course control was getting more and more difficult with all the additional development along the course. Remember all the problems they had with idiot locals crossing the course and ignoring course control?

As for cyclists, you not like them, but if you were to consider the additional traffic and fewer parking spots available for you if those cyclists were driving then maybe seeing them on the road won't bother you as much.

Improved shoulders along roads is not because of bicyclists, but for public safety. Freeways prohibit bicyclists and yet have ample shoulders.

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mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

Boy, you refute my acceptance of other road users, but only with your own judgemental attitude. I drive all over the county and never have a problem with slow moving cyclists, cattle drives, tractors or anyone else. I'm in a powerful auto that can easily slow and speed up to safely pass any slower moving users.

A few horsemen out enjoying the day really will not make any difference to me, but you could very easily become the scorn of this forum.

I see it now...posters slamming those crazy horsemen for riding on a busy road..they must have a death wish...they should be banned...they don't pay taxes...when I honk and scare their animals they flip me the bird...sound familar. You would be a huge hypocrite if you ever rode your horse on a county road because every anti-cyclist statement you make on this forum could then be applied to you and your slow moving horse. Unless your horse can do 5 over the speed limit.(ha)

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jk 3 years, 4 months ago

Zed, I'm sitting here still trying to decipher your babble! Maybe you need to suck down a couple more Honey Stingers!

I guess I will start with the fact that I live in town and don't own a "Hobby Ranch". I do have a few toys that never touch the roadways of this county, yet I still pay to have them licensed. So please tell me why cyclists are so against registering their bikes for a little extra funding?? Just a simple question that none of you seem willing to answer!?!?! Not to mention the fact, you had no statement regarding bikers road ethics! It absolutely amazes me the "freedoms" you all take with the rules of the road!! Yet you question YVB when he speaks of " unjust enrichment"? Well bahahahahah!!

So where were you going with your point about the Yippies in the Republic of Boulder?? It seem to me that someone who purchases a $10,000 bike + a $40,000 car must be trying to prove a point, and I think we all know what that is!

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 4 months ago

If bicycles were required to be licensed/registered, cyclists would actually have something to lose when they break the law. And they should be required to pass a written test. I'm all for sharing the road with responsible riders, but right now any idiot can hop on a bike and meander around without a clue as to the rules of the road. I can't count the number of times I've had or seen near misses as cyclists go from the road to sidewalks and crosswalks to avoid traffic lights or stop signs. Walking on the Core Trail has become downright scary as bikes fly around corners and pedestrians with no warning. I reeeally appreciate it when I hear "On your left!" behind me and always thank riders who are courteous enough to do that. I'd like to see a lot more focus on enforcement of cycling laws and encouragement of good ol' common courtesy. I think most bikers operate defensively; unfortunately, it's the boneheads that cause drivers to have mini heart attacks that stick in our minds and cause animosity.

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

Phoebe - What is currently stopping law enforcement from pulling over and ticketing a cyclist? I would say nothing as all road laws apply to cyclists. And likewise how many tickets have been issued for the law requiring a vehicle give three feet when passing a cyclist? I know of three riders in town who have been ticketed/fined for running stop signs and a large group ride that was asked by Sheriff's deputies to ride single file/not impede traffic. My feeling is despite how horrific you make it sound to walk the Core trail, most people get by just fine sharing the Core Trail and the roads in Routt County.

Secondly, if someone does a bonehead move on a bike who is going to lose out? Aside from the dent in the side of your car you are more in danger from other motorists. If you have a close call with a cyclist that gives you a mini heart attack, think how it feels for someone on a bike when a motorist does a bonehead move or decides to use their vehicle as a weapon? And I think you would agree there are plenty of those people out there.

JK, I would absolutely support licensing and/or registration for cyclists simply as a concession to others. However, I don't see it changing the dynamics of riding on the road. On the spectrum of regulating activities, where do you draw the line of what requires a license to be used in the public area?

Since my statements come across as bable, I will try to use bullet points:

1) Would mountain bikers getting to/from trails need a license to ride a mountain bike?

2) What would the tax/reg fees be based on and how much total revenue would that generate? Assuming the registration on a $20,000 car cost $150 how much would be raised on bikes that will mostly be less than $1000. Give me a hard number/percentage that would be a reasonable tax/fee on bikes.

3)Would the cost of administrating bicycle registrations be covered by whatever the total registration fee is?

4) Would young children riding to school need to pay taxes/license/registration?

5)If you came from out of town would you need a license to ride a bike in Routt County or is your proposal national? What if tourists coming from Canada bring bikes?

6) Is a bicycle a vehicle, but a roller skier on that same road being equally negligent not a vehicle? Skateboards?

Lastly- No Cyclist is going to propose new regulations on themselves, YOU need to take the time to put forward that effort and work out all of the above details. Maybe it would be approved by the public, but my feeling is cyclists are not the major inconvenience, danger to safety, etc that you make them out to be. You don't like them, they may get in your way, but that does not equal imminent danger.

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Zed 3 years, 4 months ago

How many total accidents have there been this year involving bicycles and motorists/pedestrians and if you can find any who was severely injured? I see a lot of ATV & Motor vehicle accidents/rollovers in the blotter, but I do not see people calling in about negligent bicycles riders.

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heboprotagonist 3 years, 4 months ago

Zed- You incorrectly make the assumption that we live in a fair and just society. We do not. We live in a society of the majority. Right now, cars far outnumber bikes on the road. Moreover, the number of ignorant and dangerous bike riders far outnumber the informed and safe riders. Lastly, the number of courteous and safe vehicle operators far outnumber the reckless and dangerous drivers. Until these numbers change all the nonsense about wear and tear on the roads, who legally has access to those roads, and how we enforce that access are moot points.

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