When news came that the Vail Valley would once again host the USA Pro Challenge for both the Beaver Creek finish and the Vail Time Trial, we were thrilled. With Beaver Creek’s addition of “The Brink” — the grueling Bachelor Gulch loop that helped crown Stage 4 the “Queen Stage” of the tour — and the return of the popular, game-changing Vail Time Trial, we feel that our valley is hosting the two most exciting and spectator-friendly legs of the race.
We look forward to large crowds and excitement as locals and guests join us for “summer’s greatest stages.” As in past years, fully enjoying the race events includes getting to each finish area early, grabbing a great spot, and enjoying the ancillary events that lead up to the finish!
A new event we’re introducing this year is our mobile scavenger hunt. We encourage you to visit your app store and download FOMO Sonar. This is a location-based app provider that we partnered with earlier in the summer for the Go Pro Mountain Games. Once you have downloaded this app onto your iPhone or Android, you’ll see a map “unlock” on the app just prior to our scavenger hunt start time of 1:30 p.m., in Beaver Creek Thursday and in Vail Friday. From there, it is a race to see who can complete every stop or “ping” on the map first. The first participant to visit each stop and complete the task or clue at that stop will win an overall grand prize package with prizes from each participating merchant and sponsor.
To win, the participant must stop by our FOMO Sonar Mobile Scavenger Hunt booth before the start time and then at the end to show their “proof” (photos taken on their phone) of each stop. In addition to the grand prize, smaller prizes will be up for grabs along the way.
Come early to Beaver Creek Thursday and Vail Friday to participate in our mobile scavenger hunt, as well the other great events we have on tap to celebrate the return of the USA Pro Challenge. We’re bringing back the Pro Art Challenge and “Cookie Time” to Beaver Creek, as well as the Chromoly bike building challenge in Vail and a free ice cream après in Mountain Plaza, courtesy of Haagen-Dasz.
To get to Beaver Creek early, park in the lower lots and pick up the shuttle. The last one leaves the lot at 2:15 p.m. If you’re heading to Vail on Friday, those same Beaver Creek lots will be in use, with free ECO buses taking you to Vail starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m.. Ride the ECO bus on Friday and get a free USA Pro Challenge cowbell!
We look forward to hosting cycling enthusiasts from all over as Vail and Beaver Creek welcome the pros for two of the most exciting stages of the tour. We’ll see you on the sidelines!
Kate Peters serves as marketing manager for the Vail Valley Foundation and marketing committee chair for the Vail and Beaver Creek stages of the USA Pro Challenge