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Ridgway group tells Dollar Store to stay away



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But the Steamboat Pilot , which should know such things, said that the turnout for the leg of the race from Avon was the largest that has ever occurred in downtown Steamboat Springs, surpassing even the Fourth of July parade and the Winter Carnival festivities.

Race participants were also prone to flattering comparisons. One competitor said it was the greatest turnout he had ever seen - and he didn't limit that to just the United States.

The race was the idea of Lance Armstrong, now a part-time Aspen resident, who called then-Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and asked him why Colorado didn't have a high-caliber bicycle race. And so the wheels began spinning.

It took a lot of money, both from hosting towns, including Crested Butte, Vail, and Breckenridge, but also far up and beyond.

A principal figure is Richard Schaden, a Boulder-based trail lawyer and businessman (Quiznos sandwich chain and Smashburger), who put $10 million into the race along with his son and business partner, Rick Schaden.

The elder Schaden told reporters in Aspen that he knew they had a hot property when the first three finishers on the Tour de France this year bypassed a race in Spain to come to compete in the Colorado race.

While the race was capital intensive in its first year, he said that in future years he sees bidding wars between major sponsors. He said he will give the race three years to take off before he would pull the plug.

In ski towns, meanwhile, host committees are calculating the costs and benefits. Even when lodges filled up, that didn't necessarily translate into booming business in the stores.

But the race got major international exposure, and host communities believe that's worth quite a lot. Whether they truly got their money back in terms of marketing exposure in the first year is still being calculated.

But it doesn't really matter. One observer in Vail remarked that what struck her was how friendly the bicycle racing enthusiasts were, and how knowledgeable they were, too.

After many years of Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France, there were many fans of bicycle racing.


Boutique hotel intends to tap geothermal heat

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