Tour of Utah comes to Heber Valley | ParkRecord.com

Tour of Utah comes to Heber Valley

Submitted by Heber Valley Tourism,

Soldier Hollow and the Heber Valley return to the world stage as 16 professional bike-racing teams from 24 countries roll to town for the 2015 Tour of Utah on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015.

The Tour of Utah announced on Tuesday, Dec. 9, the new host venues for the 2015 Tour of Utah, and for the first time Stage 4 will begin and end in the Heber Valley at Soldier Hollow. Racers will begin at Soldier Hollow and traverse some 100 to 120 miles within Wasatch County and then sprint to the finish back at Soldier Hollow.

Welcoming the tour to Soldier Hollow and Heber Valley represents a potentially substantial economic boom to the area. In addition to all the visitors, racers and teams staying in the valley, the tour will also bring global media exposure to the area that hasn’t happened since the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"The Tour of Utah will put the Heber Valley on a global stage and create millions of dollars in brand recognition for our area that we could never afford to do on our own," said Rachel Kahler, events manager for Heber Valley Tourism.

Last year, the economic impact of the tour reached about $20 million for the state from some 275,000 spectators during the seven-day race. In 2015, Heber Valley will see some of that impact money come to the area.

Tour of Utah officials are also very excited to have Stage 4 in Heber Valley because of the picturesque scenery, challenging climbs and the amenities available on hand at Soldier Hollow.

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The tour is known for bringing several thousand people to the start and finish lines of each stage, and Soldier Hollow is the ideal venue to accommodate the kinds of numbers the tour brings in with little traffic impact on the rest of the valley.

"We are excited to bring another world class event to Soldier Hollow next Summer. The Tour of Utah is an incredible opportunity to showcase the beauty of Wasatch County, Heber Valley, Wasatch Mountain State Park and our local communities to a global audience. Our world-class staff and facilities continue to prove that Soldier Hollow is a place where the very best in the world come to train and compete," said Richard Hodges, executive director of Soldier Hollow.

Hodges and Heber Valley Tourism have been working together for the past several months to bring the Tour to the area. There is a lot of work still to be done now that Heber Valley is officially hosting an entire stage of the Tour of Utah and Hodges and Heber Valley Tourism are looking for volunteers who are willing to help make Stage 4 a success. Those interested can contact Heber Valley Tourism at 435-654-3666.