Kamas Councilman Kevan Todd was a little skeptical in 2006 when the Tour of Utah passed through his city.
"When they first came to Kamas, it seemed like a lot of disruption for our quiet little town," he said.
But when he saw how the Tour could benefit the town's businesses, he changed his mind.
Todd, like many in the Kamas Valley and beyond, will make their ways to the side of the roads when the Tour of Utah goes through Kamas -- not once, but twice. Kamas is hosting the stage 5 finish line for one of the most renowned bike races in the nation this Friday, Aug. 8.
The Tour has been through the Kamas Valley before, but this is the first time the honor of being the finish line of a stage has been bestowed on the town.
Tour of Utah officials said they are glad that the Tour of Utah has a finish line -- 170 North Main Street -- in Kamas this year.
"Kamas has been great," said Jackie Tyson, media relations manager for the Tour of Utah. "In fact, the Tour has passed through Kamas each year since 2006 [and] two stages passed through in 2012 and 2013. [Kamas is a] super supportive community."
"We really wanted to end a stage in eastern Summit County," said Jenn Andrs, project manager for the Tour of Utah. Andrs said when they talked with leaders of Summit County, Kamas officials, notably Mayor Lewis Marchant, made a good case for having a stage end in Kamas.
Katie Stellpflug has been the head of the committee tasked with preparing for the Tour of Utah's stage stop in Kamas. As the owner of Artique, she has been planning for the event of months, roping in local sponsors and getting everything ready for the big day.
Stellpflug's business is on Main Street in Kamas, and fellow business owners in the vicinity are tickled that the Tour of Utah's stage 5 finish line in on Main Street.
Gabriel Morin, owner of the Mirror Lake Diner on Main Street, said he said he is "thrilled" have the Tour of Utah finish up its stage about two blocks away. "It's going to be some congestion, but it's good for business to bring thousands of people to town," he said.
Morin has 13 employees, and he said every one of them will be working on Friday to help serve spectators congregating at the finish line. "It's all hands on deck," he said.
The record for the most customers in one day at the diner is exactly 334 people, and Morin said he hopes to break the record on Friday with 400, or even 500, patrons.
But Morin said he doesn't expect to be the only beneficiary. "I think the whole town will reap rewards from it."
Lorri Sargeant is the owner of Kamas' Main Street Salon, Spa, Tanning and Boutique, and is hoping that Main Street businesses like hers gets more exposure from being just a few blocks from the finish line. Many visitors, she said, from Salt Lake City and Park City bypass Main Street as they travel from Route 248 to nearby Center Street to vacation up in the Uintas.
"I hope we stand out," she said. "This is an ideal opportunity for us."
Sargeant is also using the event as an opportunity to raise money for the family of late Angie Fitzgerald, a Kamas mother of two who died in a car collision in July. Volunteers by the dozens are bringing in home-made treats for a sidewalk bake sale, with proceeds benefiting Fitzgerald's loved ones.
All West Communications, Ames & Ames Attorneys, and High Star Ranch are the major sponsors of the stage 5 finish party, and Mark J. Fischer, manager of High Star Ranch, said he has heard estimates of as many as 5,000 spectators coming to Kamas for the finish. For a town of less than 2,000 people, that is a stampede. "The whole town is rallying behind the event," he said.
ron Ames, of Ames & Ames, said the company decided to sponsor the stage because he is "a huge cycling fan, and what a chance to see it go by my office." His office is located on Main Street, and the finish line is about half a block away, which means that he hasn't scheduled any appointments for that day and that the office will throw what he called a "micro-party."
Ames said the infusion of spectators and race participants from the Tour into Kamas will lift all boats in the town. "How often do we have 5,000 people come to Kamas at one time?"
Dave Ure, the only member of the Summit County Council from the East Side of the county, said the Tour of Utah "is very good for Kamas I think it will pay dividends in the future."
Logistics: Road Closures and Celebration
Spectators who just want to see riders should expect the race to go through town at 2:30 p.m. and then again at about 3:30 p.m., with the latter the finish line. Parking will be available at 400 South Main Street.
The Tour of Utah riders and many support vehicles will be protected by a Utah Highway Patrol rolling closure. Drivers in the areas of Marion, Oakley, and Peoa are being told to anticipate delays from 2:30 p.m. to about 3:30 p.m. There will also be delays on State Route 150, the Mirror Lake Highway, between about 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Residents are reminded to keep their pets leashed and off the roads.
The party and expo at the finish line commences at noon with live music from Pete Rude & Friends until 2 p.m. A kids' bike race will be held at 1 p.m., and a BMX exhibition will be held at 1:15 p.m. There will be a beer garden and food vendors, as well as other kid-friendly activities such as face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, and bounce houses.
Stage 5 is notable for several reasons, according to the Tour website, including having a Summit County town besides Park City host a finish line. For the first time in race history, the Tour of Utah will extend beyond the state borders by commencing the stage in Evanston, Wyoming. The 101.4-mile stage will also ascend to the Bald Mountain Pass. At 10,759 feet above sea level, it is the highest point the Tour of Utah has ever reached. The race will travel south on the Mirror Lake Highway, and will go through Kamas twice with a circuit through Oakley and Peoa that includes a two-mile stretch on dirt road less than 10 miles from the final sprint in Kamas, the website says.