Tour of Utah won’t pedal toward Park City finish line in 2017
Route does not include a stage beginning or ending in the community
The Tour of Utah riders this summer will not pedal toward a finish line in Park City.
The August bicycle race that has drawn thousands of spectators in the city does not begin or end a stage in Park City or surrounding Summit County. The race has involved Park City or Summit County on the route 12 of the 13 years it has existed. Jenn Andrs, the executive director, said it is not clear whether any of the routes will include a local stretch. She noted one of the stages, planned on Aug. 5, runs between the Heber Valley and Little Cottonwood Canyon, though. The routes have not been finalized.
“We just couldn’t find a suitable day that would work for Tour of Utah and Park City,” Andrs said.
She said the Tour of Utah in 2017 overlaps dates with the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which is held on Main Street. The Tour of Utah also uses Main Street, creating a conflict. The arts festival in the past has shifted dates to accommodate the bicycling event, but festival organizers prefer to retain the traditional dates. The bicycling race starts on July 31 in Logan and ends on Aug. 6 in Salt Lake City.
The Tour of Utah quickly became a popular event in Park City, a community with a renowned bicycling scene that attracts mountain bikers and road cyclists alike. The Tour of Utah route along Main Street drew some of the largest crowds of the year as spectators watched the riders finish the race. The Tour of Utah estimates between 40,000 and 50,000 people attended the race finish in Park City.
Andrs said she would like the Tour of Utah to return to Park City.
“I firmly believe we will be back in Park City someday,” she said.
Jason Glidden, the economic development program manager for City Hall, noted the overlap between the Tour of Utah and the arts festival. He said officials and the Tour of Utah spoke about different dates, perhaps the opening stage, but the sides did not reach an agreement. Glidden said there was work on designing a course so it did not conflict with construction projects and would not have the same impact on the community.
“We were trying to see how the course would look,” he said.
Glidden said he is “optimistic” the Tour of Utah could return to Park City as early as the 2018 race.
“We left the tables on good terms,” he said.
The Tour of Utah in 2016 reached the finish line in Park City. The final stage started and ended on Main Street as City Hall closed the street to traffic for the course. It was a festive day with the crowds descending on Main Street for the race and to spend the day with fellow bicycling fans. But the Tour of Utah also involved a significant event footprint with the Main Street closure, other temporary road closures and heavy competition for parking on a jammed day.
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