Frisco to host Ride the Rockies
FRISCO – Frisco’s population will increase by about 4,000 people June 24 when the Denver Post’s Ride the Rockies bicycle tour rolls into town.
On Sunday, tour officials announced that they have selected Frisco to be the final of six communities serving as tour hosts during the six-day ride.
“We’re very excited about it. It’s a big honor,” said Frisco spokeswoman Linda Lichtendahl. “It’s a coveted thing to be a host town for Ride the Rockies.”
Ride the Rockies is one of Colorado’s most popular cycling events. Each June, 2,000 cyclists embark on a week-long, noncompetitive ride of the state’s Rocky Mountains.
The route starts this year in Boulder and goes on to Estes Park, Granby, Steamboat Springs, Frisco and Idaho Springs.
About 4,000 riders apply annually, but the tour trims the number to 2,000 through a lottery.
“We haven’t hosted since 2000,” Lichtendahl said. “This year will be the 10th time we’ve hosted in the tour’s 19-year history, and we’ve always done a really good job. We’ve been voted several times as the best town on the tour.”
According to Lichtendahl, the tour will generate much-needed economic activity at the tail-end of mud season when their riders, friends and family hit Frisco.
“Ride the Rockies estimates that participants spend $175,000 at each stop,” she said. “Typically, we see about 4,000 people in town. All the places on Main Street do really really well. We sent out letters to tell them about this now, because they really have to gear up in terms of staffing and their products to handle the numbers.”
Dave Ver Schure, owner of Abbey’s Coffee on Main Street, looks forward to the extra business.
“That’s right when summer starts to kick in for us, and this definitely makes an impact,” he said. “It’s definitely a good thing for us.”
As the host, the town will throw a “50s-themed street party on Main Street on the evening of June 24, complete with music, food, vendors and nonprofit booths.
“We’re the last night on the tour, so it will be a big party night,” Lichtendahl said. “We’ll have Elvis and Marilyn, a sock hop and all kinds of fun stuff.”
The tour’s stop will be centered at Summit Middle School, and a continuous shuttle will transport riders up and down Summit Boulevard and Main Street.
Local volunteers play an instrumental role in the event’s success. Lichtendahl is looking for nonprofit partners to do everything from putting up signs, to staffing a hospitality center to pouring beer.
The town will host a volunteer information meeting 5 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Frisco Town Hall.
Since 2001, nonprofit agencies from each of the Ride the Rockies host towns have received funding from a bike tour community grant program.
In the past three years, the tour distributed 24 grants, totaling more than $150,000. Summit County-based organizations supporting youth or literacy programs are eligible to apply for $10,000 in grant money.
“This is an important way we can give back to the communities who do so much to support the event,” said Paul Balaguer, Ride the Rockies Tour director.
Grant applications are available at Frisco Town Hall; cyclist registration forms are available at http://www.ridetherockies.com