Lycra or leather, tourists all use federal green

In the last decade, Durango’s desire and capacity to host more than one major event at a time has steadily grown. The desire comes from Durangoans’ broad range of interests, hobbies and diversions for which we seem to celebrate every one of them.

The capacity comes with organizers being better organized and from using more event venues. The result is Durango hosts more themed events, competitions and festivals than there are weekends available.

In some cases, events that complement each other have benefited by same-day scheduling. For example, Daddyfest fits perfectly with Motor Expo, as does Coffeefest fit nicely with Farmers Market. On other multiple event weekends, separate events cater to separate audiences in separate locations. Such is the case this Labor Day weekend.

The Big Mountain Enduro Series presented by Yeti Cycles will ascend on Durango starting Thursday. This is an authentic multi-stage, multi-day annual endurance race held throughout the most picturesque vacation destinations in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Featuring many of the top-ranked trails in the country, the race series follows a mix of the European formats of epic backcountry Enduros on big terrain, with lift-accessed stages blended in. This rapidly growing discipline combines the physical endurance of cross country riding with the technical difficulty and excitement of downhill racing. Most of the racing will be held in Horse Gulch with the festival and ceremony activities centered at Buckley Park.

During this same three-day weekend, the annual Motorcycle Rally will return to the entire Four Corners with most activity concentrated either in Ignacio at Sky Ute Casino Hotel and Fairgrounds or near Mancos at Sugar Pine Ranch.

Downtown Durango will see and hear rally attendees as they crisscross the region. This year, an El Rancho-sponsored street party will be held on 10th Street at Main, and Saturday, the Elks Lodge will host a parking-lot party. Both are from 5 to 9 p.m. Starting at 8 a.m. Sunday morning at the Durango Transit Center, the public is invited to enjoy a $10 giant burrito breakfast in support of the veterans organization, Building Homes For Heroes, followed by the city-organized traditional 11 a.m. classic-car and motorcycle parade up Main Avenue.

In the case of both events, the common denominator is that all event attendees, whether in colorful Lycra or plain black leather, are basically tourists in costume. They all need beds to sleep in, restaurants to eat at and stores to buy souvenir items for the folks back home. Equal in importance to what economic impact is left behind in Durango, thousands will take home memories and experiences that will promote future visits.

If a pair of tight-fitting bicycle shorts or a pair of worn leather chaps is not your style, just wait until the next weekend or the one after that. You’ll need your lederhosen and alpenhorn for Oktoberfest, and cowboy hat and western boots for Cowboy Gathering.

Come on, admit it, half the fun is dressing up for the party. I’ll be in leather.

kunkelra@ci.durango.co.us. Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.

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