Bikers make for busy weekend in Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Corey Spagnolo was pleasantly surprised Saturday afternoon when cyclists from Ride the Rockies inundated his restaurant.
“We were a little unprepared,” Spagnolo said. “But we were able to deal with it.”
Spagnolo and his wife own Spagnolo’s restaurant in the Van Rand Center next to the Glenwood Springs High School where around 2,300 riders, volunteers and support staff congregated for the annual bike tour. Spagnolo said there were people lined up out the door and into the parking lot in front of his restaurant.
“It was nonstop for six or seven hours,” he said. “It was so busy the roof was coming off.”
It’s that kind of turnout that has Kate Collins, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association vice president of tourism marketing, excited about this summer tourism season.
“We had a very busy weekend,” she said. “The community information tent the chamber staffed gave out a lot of business and local dining information for people to do while they are in town.”
Collins said that along with the 2,300 people in town associated with Ride the Rockies, the Two Rivers Cycling club held the Western Slope cycling event with close to 500 participants. And the Sopris Barracudas hosted its home swimming meet at the Community Center this weekend as well, bringing in a reported 300 families from throughout the Western Slope, according to Collins.
“It’s exciting that they are outdoor, athletic events, that people who participate in them value this area as one of the best places in the state for cycling, that will keep them coming back,” she said.
And all the people coming through town for these events means tourism dollars for the city and added revenue for local restaurants and stores, like Spagnolo’s.
With Ride the Rockies beginning and ending in Glenwood Springs this year, parking posed a problem, Collins said. The official parking at American Furniture Warehouse and Glenwood Springs High School were both full by 2 p.m.
Collins speculated that in past Ride the Rockies events the starting and ending points are different towns, and riders would typically get dropped off and picked up. However with Glenwood being the starting and ending points, more people drove themselves and needed a place to park.
“The beginning and ending in Glenwood did change things a little bit,” she said. “We don’t have a rule of thumb for how many parking spaces are needed.”
But they managed to find a solution for the overflow of parking, Collins said. The police allowed parking at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, the property near the Roaring Fork River just west of the Stubler Memorial Field, and also allowed parking along Coach Miller Drive as well.
Collins is hoping that with the crowds returning to town this Friday, that some of them will stick around for a couple of days.
“We are hoping that some will stay in town for Strawberry Days Festival,” Collins said.
As for Spagnolo, now that he knows what to expect when the Bicycle Tour of Colorado comes through town June 21-27, and also begins and ends in Glenwood, he’s not worried.
“It’s a very good thing,” Spagnolo said.
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