Hundreds flock to the valley for Roaring Fork Triple Crown World Series |

Hundreds flock to the valley for Roaring Fork Triple Crown World Series

Triple Crown Little League teams line The Collective lawn during the Opening Ceremony in Snowmass Base Village on Tuesday. (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

An estimated 600 people are in the Roaring Fork Valley this week for a regional baseball tourney.

Having started July 20, the Roaring Fork Little League Baseball World Series, put on by Triple Crown Baseball, will host games in Glenwood Springs, Aspen, Snowmass, El Jebel and Crown Mountain.

The tournament is expected to bring 10 different Little League teams to the Roaring Fork Valley — three from Colorado and the others coming from throughout the nation. The tournament will see teams from Oklahoma, California, Utah, Arkansas, New Mexico, Washington and Missouri. Little Leaguers, their families and friends will flock to valley cities for five days as teams ranging in age from 9 to 14 pursue the Roaring Fork World Series title.

“The destinations and facilities are perfect for a highly competitive end-of-the-year national baseball tournament. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Triple Crown event director Matt Pilcher.

The initial seeding games are slated to begin Wednesday morning. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games with a double-elimination playoff bracket design. Playoffs seeding will take place Thursday night, and playoff play will begin early on Friday. Sunday is coined “champions day,” where a champion will be crowned for each age division.

Gavin Higer, 11, pins his collected pins onto his official Triple Crown World Series towel on the lawn of The Collective during the opening ceremony in Snowmass Base Village on Tuesday. Higer and his team, the Riders, are from Johnstown, Colorado. Ten Little League teams from eight states, including Colorado, are visiting, bringing an estimated 600 people into the Roaring Fork Valley through Sunday. (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

Triple Crown Baseball will also be putting on a skills contest for the players. Some of the events of the skills contest include base-running, throwing accuracy and a home run derby. Once again, each contest will be divided by age division and will allow the players to show off some of their specialized baseball skills.

It was originally projected that thousands of people would be coming to the area with close to 30 teams attending, but some teams withdrew from the tournament.

“This is pretty typical whenever you have a tournament of this size. A couple teams are going to drop off the original scheduled teams list,” said Brian Smith, Glenwood Springs parks and recreation director.

Beyond the excitement of Little League baseball, the Roaring Fork Little League World Series brings the allure of bustling restaurants, hotels and downtown cores as up to 600 hundred people make their way to the area. Glenwood Springs is one city that is expected to see an influx of people during one of the busiest times of year for the city already.

“There’s been so much pent-up demand through the pandemic that people just want to get out and experience the mountains. We’ve had sellouts at lodges even on the weekdays and long waits at restaurants throughout town. Next week is sure to be even busier with the arrival of youth baseball teams throughout the valley,” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism for Visit Glenwood.

“Close to half of the teams are staying in Glenwood Springs, so attendees of the event will be around the downtown area throughout the five days of the tournament,” Smith said.

Triple Crown players add newly acquired pins to their World Series towels on The Collective lawn in Snowmass Base Village on Tuesday. The opening ceremony for the Triple Crown World Series was held on The Collective lawn and started with players trading pins representing their teams. Ten teams will be competing with children ages 9 to 14 through Sunday. (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

Smith noted that the city of Glenwood extensively worked in advance to reserve hotel blocks in the area that would accommodate baseball teams as well as their family and friends.

Area municipalities and the Triple Crown Baseball are under a three-year contract to host the tournament every summer until the contract expires. There may be talks in the future to change the tournament date to earlier in the summer so that the event doesn’t occur during the busiest part of the summer for the Roaring Fork Valley.

“We are trying to be careful not to inundate downtown during a time that is already very busy, so there will be food vendors at Sayre Park and Two Rivers Park to feed the teams and fans,” Smith said in response to what is being done to counteract the amount of people who will be flocking to the downtown area.

“The city of Glenwood is very excited and honored to serve as hosts to this amazing event,” Bryana Starbuck said on behalf of the city of Glenwood.

Triple Crown Little League teams trade pins at the beginning of the opening ceremony for the TC World Series in Snowmass Base Village on Tuesday. (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

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