A year after Eagle voters approved a $2 per room, per night lodging tax to fund marketing efforts in the community, last week the town board allocated some of those dollars to events planned for 2013.
Headlining a trio of funding requests was a proposal from TransRockies US LP for a two-day bike/run competition with associated festivities planned Oct. 5-6. The company has experience in promoting regional race events including the TransRockies Challenge from 2002-12 and the GORE-TEX TransRockies Run from 2007-12. TransRockies requested a $10,000 funding commitment from the town of Eagle for its proposed event.
Preliminary plans for the Eagle event call for a Saturday morning bike race featuring different distance categories such as 15, 30 and 60 miles on a 7.5 mile loop. Additionally, a kids bike race would be contested. Saturday evening would feature a special concert. Action would continue through Sunday with trail runs of three, six and 13 miles along with a shorter kids run.
"This event reaches three key types of participants - cyclists, runners and multi-sport athletes," notes the proposal from TransRockies. "The event appeals to singles, groups of friends and also couples of families who wish to alternate days for child care."
TransRockies would advertise the two-day Eagle event in regional media along with bringing in media to cover the races.
The company estimates that up to 200 room nights would be generated the first year of the competition and that that number will increase to 400 by the third year.
"Direct economic benefit in the first year should exceed $40,000 and should double by the third year. Intangibles and earned media are expected to exceed a value of $50,000 per year," reads the TransRockies funding request.
"We are really excited about this event," offered Eagle Marketing and Events Coordinator Meg Stepanek. She told the town board that members of the Eagle Marketing and Events Advisory Committee recommended earmarking $7,500 for the TransRockies proposal.
"This TransRockies thing seems like the exact type of event we are trying to get to Eagle," said town board member Scott Turnipseed during last week's review of the proposal. He questioned why the MEAC elected to trim the donation from $10,000 to $7,500.
Town board member Scot Webster, who also serves on the MEAC, said the reasoning behind the $7,500 figure was to offer that amount of cash along with additional in-kind services. He noted that the entire events budget for 2013 is $30,000 and the committee wanted to be judicious in how the dollars were spent.
While the town board voiced support for the in-kind offer, members also noted they enthusiastically supported the TransRockies plan. They authorized the expenditure of up to $10,000 for the event marketing.
Two other events planned for 2013 received funding approval from the town board last week - Honky Tonk Eagle and Eagle Cult Cross.
Honky Tonk Eagle is a proposal from Tumbleweed Productions out of Carbondale. The company has produced several music festivals in Colorado and other western states including the Aspen Jazz Festival.
As proposed, Honky Tonk Eagle would be a two-day music event at the Eagle County Fairgrounds held during September or October. It would feature rockabilly/country/bluegrass genres and dancing.
Joseph Lang, the promoter who submitted the request, did not ask for town dollars but did request town support for the proposed event as he looks for corporate sponsors. The MEAC suggested the town offer to pay for the facility rental if Honky Tonk Eagle comes to fruition and the town board agreed to support that request.
The final approval was for the one-day Eagle Cult Cross event planned March 31. The event is presented by local resident Larry Grossman.
Cult cross is a bike race contested on a 1.5 to 2 mile course where competitors run several laps. Competition is divided into several categories with divisions for men, women and children.
"The Cycleocross format is very spectator friendly and promotes a very fun atmosphere where racers can observe and cheer for their other friends/racers during the course of the day's racing," noted Grossman's funding application.
He requested $3,000 for marking and prize money. The MEAC recommended funding $1,350 for the prize money.
Noting there has been previous friction between Grossman and the town of Eagle, Turnipseed asked Grossman if he felt he could be a positive partner with the town.
"We really want this to be a win/win relationship," said Webster.
"I am burying the hatchet on all the other stuff. Let's get together and do a great event," said Grossman.
The town board agreed to the MEAC suggestion and approved the $1,350 Cult Cross prize money.