A few weeks ago the New York Times travel section had a great article on mountain biking in Fruita, Colorado. This article is practically a brochure for mountain bike tourism in Fruita and sounds like it could have been written by the chamber of commerce. It’s also notable that this article appears in the New York Times – which is not your typical mountain bike rag. Fruita is targeting yuppies who are looking for an adventure vacation. These types of tourists would go on active eco-vacations like skiing, white water rafting, hiking and mountain biking. These are the same people we would love to bring to enjoy the trails of Santa Cruz County.
The inspiration for Fruita embracing mountain bike tourism is mentioned in the article:
Just over 10 years ago, Fruita was a depressed agricultural town with an oil refinery being shut down by the Environmental Protection Agency. Then, Troy Rarick, a 44-year-old cyclist from nearby Grand Junction, conceived a plan to transform Fruita by giving it a new identity: ecotourism hub.
Fruita has several hundred miles of single-track and is widely recognized as one of the premiere mountain bike destinations in the world. That town does a great job of attracting mountain bike tourists. They have an amazing Fat Tire Festival that continues to bring in a lot of revenue. I know of a lot of mountain bikers who have made the trek to Fruita in the past few years and they have all enjoyed their stay. Mountain biking is a source of civic pride for Fruita and they have bike murals and sculptures on the main street.
The town of Fruita inspires me that Santa Cruz can similarly embrace this brand of eco-tourism and we can all grow the global market for mountain bike tourism. Perhaps some day the New York Times will be writing about Santa Cruz and the swoopy single track dancing in and out of the redwood trees with blades of sun piercing though the morning fog.