Santa Fe to Host 2012 International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit
This is great news for the city and local cyclists.
Read more about the upcoming summit in the following New Mexican article:
Santa Fe finishes first in race for bike event; Officials say 2012 world summit will pump up leisure tourism
Julie Ann Grimm | The New Mexican
Santa Fe will be the site of a major gathering of mountain-biking enthusiasts — the 2012 International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Bike Summit — city officials learned Thursday.
The October event is expected to fill more than 1,200 hotel room nights, as it draws as many as 400 mountain-biking enthusiasts from across the nation and around the globe for a four-day meeting. The event will include conference sessions on bike trail building and other issues at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center as well as organized trail rides at the city’s Dale Ball Trails and La Tierra Trails networks.
The city beat out bids from Lake Tahoe, Nev., and from Jackson Hole, Wyo. Previous World Summit events were held in Park City, Utah, and Augusta, Ga.
Bob Ward, one of the founders of the area’s fledgling Fat Tire Societyfor mountain bikers, said the news has been a well-kept secret for more than week.
“We were just chomping at the bit,” said Ward, store manager at REI in the Santa Fe Railyard. “Only a couple key, key players knew.”
The Fat Tire Society helped organize area businesses and other outdoor-recreation groups to promote Santa Fe as the summit location after a trail-building crew from the International Mountain Bicycling Association worked in the city two years in a row and recommended it as a potential biennial meeting site.
When Convention and Visitors Bureau sales director Chris Madden learned the city was on the short list for the meeting, she offered the association a package worth $100,000 in products and support, including lodging discounts and free use of the convention center for the event. Bicycle Technologies International, a bicycle-parts distributor based in Santa Fe, and other area bike shops plan to provide parts and maintenance to participants. Other businesses, including the local Subaru dealer and the Second Street Brewery, also have promised to help.
Madden said Thursday that the effort was in line with the city’s goal of increasing its marketing for leisure and recreational tourism.
“This will have some carry-over,” Ward said. “If we put on a good show here, it will open people’s eyes, and we will get on the map as a great destination. I don’t think the great-outdoor stuff has been publicized like it really should. I’m really happy to see that the Convention and Visitors Bureau is starting to take that little tack that there is more to Santa Fe than arts, history, culture and food.”
Ward said other partners are working on event plans, including arrangements for participants to help build a new planned trail in La Tierra. They also plan to create a map and brochure that showcase mountain biking opportunities in the area.
Mayor David Coss said credit for getting the event to come to Santa Fe is partly due to the years-long work of the Bicycle and Trail Advisory Committeeand investment in recreation over time.
City Councilor Patti Bushee, who chairs the committee, said the conference represents the coming of age of the bicycling community. Bicycling advocates want to work on adding economic development opportunities to the city, she said.
Officials say recognition of the city as a travel destination continues to grow. Condé Nast Traveler magazine has already told Coss the city will be named as one of its best 2011 destinations. The mayor is going to New York City next month to learn whether the city is at the top of the list. Last year, it was No. 3.