Golden made an impression a year ago when it hosted two days of the Single Track 6 bike race. Not only is the event coming back for 2016, but the organizing company (TransRockies) has decided to create a brand new event, just for Golden.
“(Golden) is a thriving area for the mountain bike community,” said Andy Brown, communications co-ordinator for Tourism Golden.
Brown spoke to Town Council at their last regular meeting to request the use of Keith King Memorial Park for the June event, which will be a 24-hour relay format through the Mountain Shadows trail network called 24 Hours of Golden.
“We want to increase tourism in the shoulder season,” said Brown. “And we wanted an event that would be unique to Golden.”
Tourism Golden originally approached TransRockies with the 24-hour relay idea, which would be similar to Canmore’s popular 24 Hours of Adrenaline. Given the high praise the town received from the racers at Single Track 6 in 2014, TransRockies got on board with the idea, and plans to make it Golden’s signature annual event.
Mountain biking is a big draw for the community, but Tourism Golden would like to make it even bigger. Currently their research show that mountain bikers spend an average of $231 a day, with 51 per cent of them saying they would return, and 91 per cent of them saying they would recommend Golden to other bikers.
The trails are already here, thanks to the Golden Cycling Club, so the key is to get the word out, and events like this will do just that.
“This won’t be in the downtown like the Single Track 6…but the economic boost to the community will be there,” said Brown. “We’re hoping for 200 racers for the first year.”
The race itself will take place on June 18 and 19, but organizers will need use of Keith King Memorial park for a full week to take care of set up, and clean up. The park will serve as the start and finish line, as well as the campground for the racers.
“Obviously being in a residential area, we’ll be keeping any entertainment and use of the speakers to early in the evening,” said Brown.
Council will be discussing the race’s use of the park at a later time.