June 5, 2023 5:09 pm

BID executive director says transform in place frees up space

Participants ride in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic’s Cruiser Crit in 2016 in downtown Durango. This year, no events will be held in the downtown location. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Two years ago, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic moved its beginning line for the historic Durango-to-Silverton ride from downtown Durango to 33rd Street and East Second Avenue, about 2½ miles north.

It also stopped holding events on Sunday in downtown Durango, which includes a mountain bike race that passed by way of Steamworks Brewing Co. and a Cruiser Crit, in which participants dressed up in costume.

Even though some may perhaps consider such a move from the downtown could influence companies through the Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial launch of tourism season – business enterprise owners and business enterprise leaders say they are not concerned about the transform.

“I do not think that has decreased the influence at all,” stated Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Small business Improvement District. “In truth, it keeps downtown a small much more open and flowing.”

May possibly 26

1-7 p.m. Nearby packet pickup at Chapman Hill

five p.m. Women’s Brief Track race at Chapman Hill

five:30 p.m. Men’s Brief Track race at Chapman Hill

May possibly 27

7:30 a.m. Durango Coca-Cola Road Race start off, 33rd Street and East Second Avenue

eight a.m. McDonald’s Citizen Tour start off, 33rd Street and East Second Avenue

three-7 p.m. Bike pickup at Durango Transit Center

May possibly 28

eight:30 a.m. La Strada La Plata Gravel Race start off at Chapman Hill

9 a.m. Mountain Bike wave 1 start off at Chapman Hill

11:30 a.m. Mountain Bike wave two start off at Chapman Hill

two p.m. Mountain Bike wave three start off at Chapman Hill

As of Wednesday, 1,906 cyclists had been registered to ride from Durango to Silverton. Events for the entire weekend had a total of two,388 registered participants.

Peak Meals &amp Beverage CEO Kris Oyler stated he expects business enterprise at the company’s restaurants – Steamworks, El Moro and Homeslice – will be on par with common Memorial Day weekends.

Memorial Day weekend brings bike riders, but it also brings an influx of other guests, he stated.

“Generally, we see about 50% much more persons across the board through this weekend,” Oyler stated.

Oyler stated Steamworks has been serving about 900 buyers per day in current weeks. He expects that quantity to boost to 1,500 per day this weekend.

Even at Homeslice, which tends to have significantly less tourism appeal, will see a slight bump in targeted traffic for the reason that of the IHBC occasion, he stated.

Peak Brewing restaurants do not open till 11 a.m., Oyler stated. So they in no way skilled a bump in business enterprise from getting the start off line in downtown Durango on Saturday mornings.

In truth, moving events from the downtown has helped his personnel get to function and stay away from targeted traffic delays associated to the race, he stated.

Walsworth stated congestion in front of storefronts can make it challenging for restaurants and retailers.

“Any time you have an occasion like this, you have to close roads,” he stated. “Road closures downtown can have their superior points and they can have their undesirable points for business enterprise.”

Primi Pasta &amp Wine Bar owner Jarrod Regan stated the Iron Horse assists business enterprise, as do the Durango Higher College and the Major Image Higher College graduations.

“We’ve noticed that the final couple of years they’ve fallen on the identical weekend and that is substantial for the reason that two major dining-out events (are) taking place at the identical time,” he stated.

Regan has noticed that due to the fact opening the Italian restaurant in 2020, IHBC participants normally dine with him the evening ahead of the ride to “carbo-load.”

“We’re quite darn busy year-round,” he stated. “So, getting possibly a handful of significantly less vacationers is not going to actually influence our Friday and Saturday business enterprise.”

For business enterprise owners in Silverton, the Iron Horse occasion is 1 of the largest weekends of the year, stated San Juan County spokeswoman DeAnne Gallegos.

The IHBC brings in thousands of participants and spectators to the municipality of about 651 persons.

“Memorial Day weekend typically is really busy. Not only with the Iron Horse, but we start off to see much more motorcycle targeted traffic and car or truck targeted traffic off Highway 550,” Gallegos stated. “And with it getting a 3-day vacation weekend, we start off to see higher targeted traffic of all varieties.”

In addition to the Iron Horse, this is the earliest the Durango &amp Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will be operating a second train to Silverton, she stated.

“I’ve currently had some restaurants say they’re beating their days from final year,” she stated.


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