Mountain Bike Capital USA: The Development of a Mountain Bike Town

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Scott Michael Hicks II
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Grand County, Colorado boasts itself as Mountain Bike Capital USA. Though determining whether or not the county is worthy of such a title would be a worthwhile effort, this book instead focuses on how mountain biking became an economic driver for the mountain towns in Grand County. Through dissecting national trends, local business practices and personal interviews it was clear several groups had a hand in creating this mountain bike reinforced summer economy. The national trends in technology, sales market, and popularity of biking created an opportunity for mountain bike based economies to exist. Grand County proved to be a quality venue for mountain biking, as it already had trails, logging roads, and a service industry ready to host thousands of tourists. The United States Forest Service and local interest groups helped facilitate trail systems in the county, which has grown considerably in the past decades. As mountain bikings popularity rose, signs of cultural change were apparent around the county. Locals, governments, and businesses began to embrace mountain biking as a considerable aspect of the summer tourism industry. Large businesses in the county have taken to mountain biking in new ways, controlling the terrain and morphing the sport into an idealistic experience. Uncovering these elements of the Grand County mountain biking scene created a clearer image of how mountain biking became an economic driver.


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