2011 Amgen Tour of California: Truckee mulls 10-day event ideas to showcase region | SierraSun.com

2011 Amgen Tour of California: Truckee mulls 10-day event ideas to showcase region

Sun News Service Photo - John HartThree-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer, of the Radio Shack team, races from the start of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California on Broad Street in Nevada City.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Amgen Tour of California is only a few months away, and locals are eagerly preparing to meet the tourand#8217;s bombardment of spectators with a series of fitness and cycling events to highlight the town.

At a special tour planning meeting Thursday and#8212; hosted by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, town of Truckee and Truckee Downtown Merchants Association and#8212; residents gathered to brainstorm possible events for the town and listen to the most recent update about the tour.

Andy Chapman, tourism director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, gave a brief synopsis of the raceand#8217;s two stages, the first starting May 15 at Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa, wrapping the lake 1.5 times and ending at Northstar-at-Tahoe; and the second stage starting at Squaw Valley USA, going over Donner Pass and ending in Sacramento.

Speaking to business owners, Chapman encouraged events leading up to the race be used to highlight local businesses and to capture part of the eight-day tourand#8217;s (May 15-22) more than $400 million in estimated community revenues.

and#8220;We do appreciate the focus and getting involved,and#8221; Chapman said.

Truckeeand#8217;s events will be part of a regional 10-day event list designed to maximize the economic impact of the race, Chapman said.

He added both the NLTRA and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Tahoeand#8217;s official tour organizing associations, are looking for hundreds of volunteers to serve as course marshals and are still looking for sponsors to assist with aspects of race management.

Les Pedersen, director of sales and marketing at the Resort at Squaw Creek and#8212; who is acting as tour sponsorship chair and#8212; said he sees the tour as game-changing way to market the region as a cycling destination.

and#8220;An event of this stature can really be transformative,and#8221; Pedersen said.

Lynn Saunders, the chamberand#8217;s chief executive officer, said the turnout from business owners and residents during the night was phenomenal; depending on input, it will determine if a second meeting is necessary.

and#8220;We really want to get going and get our plans together as soon as possible,and#8221; Saunders said.

During the night, residents brainstormed a volley of different ideas such as block parties, fun rides, bike clinics and a time trial up Donner Summit from Truckee.

Saunders said she will collect these ideas and others and have the chamber filter potentials to the NLTRA and LTVA for a final selection.

Those wishing to contribute Truckee event ideas can submit them to the chamber by calling 530-587-8808 or e-mailing info@truckee.com.

More information on the race can be found at tahoeamgentourofcalifornia.com.

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