Summer is close enough to taste, and the flavor is very tempting.
Eagle shines during the summer time. The Eagle Pool is a favorite place for local families to cool off and great community events such as Flight Days and the ShowDownTown concert series unite residents for laid back entertainment. But for active Eagle-ites, the summer really begins on April 15 when the town’s open space trails open for the season. That’s when they pull out their mountain bikes and pull on their running shoes to get delightfully dirty.
While locals know all about the community’s trail treasure trove, the comprehensive network is beginning to generate buzz statewide. Last week, the Eagle Outside Festival was presented as a celebration of the community’s rich biking and running options and that event prompted some great attention.
“If you’re like myself and have driven by Eagle a couple hundred times on the way to Fruita or Utah and have wondered about the mountain bike potential in the hills and mountains around I-70 exit No. 147, it’s probably time to start planning your next mountain bike trip there,” noted Mountain Flyer magazine following the festival. “Eagle has more single track than you can shake a stick at, or ride in a day (more like two or three days) as well as plenty of amenities and lodging or camping that are sought for any worthwhile mountain biking destination.”
“That’s exactly the message we have been hoping to generate,” said Scot Webster, member of both the Eagle Town Board and the Eagle Marketing and Events Committee. “ We have such an amazing trail network right here in our backyard and thousands of people just drive by it. We are working on the message that Eagle has everything you could want and it is hours closer than other, more well-know mountain biking destinations.”
Seasoned bike event promoter Mike McCormack was the organizer behind the Eagle Outside Festival. He believes that the event achieved its goal of spotlighting the community’s awesome trail network.
“The No. 1 comment we hears was ‘We had no idea this was here.’ That’s exactly what we wanted to hear,” said McCormack. “We also heard that Eagle is a charming place and that really what we offer our guests — a great, warm community.”
Part of the Eagle Outside Festival marketing strategy called for offering large cash prizes for winners of both the men’s and women’s Firebird races. McCormack said the reasoning behind the prizes was simple.
“We were not chasing the pro riders being we are fans. We were chasing the pros because the media follows the pros,” he noted. That strategy has already paid off with event recaps in various publications including Mountain magazine.
But in the end, McCormack noted that promoting events that highlight Eagle’s trails as part of a recreation-based tourism effort pays off not only by bringing in new dollars, but also by making the community an even better place to live.
“Trails make our quality of life better,” he said. “Countless studies have shown that communities walk-ablity and ride-abity impact live-ability.”
McCormack said the great thing about the Eagle Outside Festival is that it showed off what makes Eagle a wonderful community.”It was a great opportunity to show what Eagle is great at. Eagle is great at being nice to people,” said McCormack.