Eagle is slated to host the state championships for burgeoning high school sport - mounting biking.
The state championship would be contested next October and the event is a near-perfect fit with the community's outdoor recreation marketing effort. But before anyone can race in Eagle, a trail must be constructed at the proposed Haymeadow site south of town.
The Colorado High School Cycling League has been in discussions with Eagle representatives for months. The championships event is proposed for Oct. 19 and 20, and would include a four-race series of cross county mountain biking for students in grades 9-12. Riders race on a 6- to 8-mile course with a mix of double track and single track and climbs of 600 to 800 feet. Overall state championship team and individual awards would be at stake.
According to Kate Rau, executive director of the event, 460 athletes participated in the 2012 high school cycling series and the sport is rapidly growing. Eagle Town Board member Scott Turnipseed confirmed her assertion.
"I went to a race with my son when he was in high school, about four years ago, and there were 14 participants," said Turnipseed. "Now there are more than 400."
"I think we are pretty lucky to get the state championships. We didn't just get a race, we got the championship race," Turnipseed added.
While race organizers want to come to Eagle and town officials want their business, the outstanding issue of an actual race course must still be worked out. The proposed site is the Haymeadow property south of town. According to Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick, property owner Ric Newman has indicated he is willing to work with the town on the trail development but issues including construction specifics, insurance, liability and possible restoration must all be negotiated.
"The reason I bring this up is we are approving an event on a trail that doesn't yet exist," said Kostick. "But stay tuned, everyone, in two weeks we are going to discuss how we are going to build the trail."
Turnipseed, who has been working with Kostick and Eagle Marketing and Events Coordinator Meg Stepanek to bring the high school cycling event to town, noted the trail will be a single track. "It's really not that big a deal (to build)," he said.
Kostick noted the goal is to develop a trail that will later be a community amenity as well as a site that could become the permanent host for the high school cycling championships.
"The intention is not to have this just be a mountain bike trail, it would be a multi-use loop trail," added John Staight, Eagle Open Space Coordinator.
The town board unanimously approved the $5,000 marketing support request and noted the trail discussion is set for the next meeting on Tuesday, April 9.
In other action the town board:
• Approved a four-way stop at the intersection of Capitol Street and Founders Avenue at Eagle Ranch.
• Noted that public hearings for a proposed Kum and Go convenience store are slated for April 23. The new building would be located at the southwest corner of the Sylvan Lake Road roundabout at the entry to Eagle Ranch. The Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission is slated to consider a development permit application for the business at its next meeting, April 2.
• Discussed the pending departures of Stepanek and assistant planner Dessie Hoppes. With the new town manager decision expected within the next few weeks, members noted it would be preferable to have the new leader involved in hiring decisions.