Monument bike tour approved for October

The 2013 version of the ICON Lasik Tour of the Moon, which attracted more than 1,700 bicycle riders across Colorado National Monument last year, will go forward.

Officials at the monument approved a permit for the 
Oct. 5 event, Tour of the Moon promoter Mike Heaston said Monday.

The approval sets the stage for him to set up the Tour of the Moon website, which he expects to go online March 1, said Heaston of Event Marketing Group LLC, one of the two main promoters of the event.

The site, http://www.tourofthemoon.com, is to be up this weekend. 

Colorado National Monument Superintendent Lisa Eckert late last year said she would act quickly on the Tour of the Moon application.

Monument officials are preparing a visitor-activity and commercial-services plan, which they will use to evaluate future applications for activities on the monument.

It will be unveiled after community meetings coordinated by a to-be-
chosen third party.

The Tour of the Moon ride is a plum attraction that attracts a prime demographic for the Grand Valley, said Barbara Bowman, the Visitor and Convention Bureau division manager.

“From an economic partnership point of view, they attract the kinds of demographics of people who could send their children to CMU or they could relocate their businesses to Grand Junction,” Bowman said of the race. “It’s the perfect mix of people.”

Last year, the event generated a $500,000 economic impact in the Grand Valley.

The Tour of the Moon event could well reach its cap of 2,000 participants, Heaston said. The 2012 tour involved 1,830 registrants and 1,750 actual participants.

He is preparing a blast email to some 44,000 potential participants in the 2013 tour, Heaston said.

This year’s tour will differ slightly in that organizers will rearrange the directions in which participants will ride, with the idea being to minimize the possibilities of conflicts between visitors in cars and other vehicles and those who are pedaling their way along 23-mile Rim Rock Drive, Heaston said.

Participants will travel west to east along Rim Rock Drive, which is a reversal from last year.

Either way the monument will remain the focal point, he said.

Backers of an effort to promote Colorado National Monument are considering including such events in legislation should they ask Congress to change the 20,000-acre monument to a national park.


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