Grand Junction decides not to apply to host Quiznos Pro Challenge stage

In the end, the Quiznos Pro Challenge professional cycling road race was too much too soon for Grand Junction.

The proposed dates didn’t help.

“It doesn’t fit our community for 2011 with the (Colorado National) Monument) 100th celebration and a possible air show,” Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau Executive Director Debbie Kovalik said. “(The city, hotels and other entities) all agreed we should take a look at 2012.”

The Quinzos Pro Challenge is scheduled for Aug. 22-28 throughout Colorado. Communities were expected to complete and return a 55-page bid packet by Friday.

Aspen was one Western Slope community that is interested.

“We certainly worked together with the city and formed committees,” Aspen Chamber Resort Association President Debbie Braun said. “We each took a portion of the package and set up meetings with a local lodging committee. We had a group get together to deal with a race route and operations. The city had to talk about city services.”

Aspen put in a bid for hosting the start, finish and a couple of races in between, hoping to land one of them.

“We wanted to offer the widest array of opportunity we could,” Braun said. “We talked about a speed race, going over the pass and collaborating with our partners in Glenwood and Carbondale.”

Aspen didn’t have any problems with lodging, which is an issue for Grand Junction with the other events taking place the same week.

“Our average daily rate is 90 to 100 dollars,” Braun said. “Our lodging community is very savvy. The lodges are familiar with X-Games and World Cup (skiing).

“We looked at the city, and thought they’ve got the heavy load. They thought lodging had the heavy load.”

Kovalik had other concerns besides lodging to make the event work.

“The biggest issue was the lack of resources,” she said. “All the law enforcement, public works and park people required would take additional funds. The city has a very tight budget for 2011. Same with the state patrol. If (the state patrol) were to do it, money would have to be raised. The community would have to pay for (portable toilets), barricades, all the necessities to run a race.

“If this was two years ago, we wouldn’t hesitate to work with them. We’re down 12 percent from last year. Our job is to get more people to come here. We need to make our easier sell first.”

Braun said Aspen officials were told Medalist Sports LLC, an international sports management company coordinating the event, will announce the course and city stops for the race by mid-October.

Medalist Sports manages the Livestrong Challenge races, the Tour of California and the USA Cycling Professional Championships in Greenville, S.C.


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