The logistics required to host stages 1 and 2 of the Colorado Classic which will welcome thousands of cycling fans to Vail on Thursday, Aug. 16 and Friday, Aug. 17 have been finalized by the town’s police, fire and transportation departments. This includes route information, neighborhood road closures, overflow parking areas and transit re-routes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both days. Maps detailing the impacts are available at mchon or 970-306-2466. Watch for announcements regarding a series of informational meetings to be hosted by the town to help the community prepare for the event.
The Colorado Classic, now in its second year, will feature the best of men’s and women’s pro racing with four stages split between new venues in Vail and returning to Denver. The racing begins on Aug. 16 in Vail when riders will experience a technically challenging circuit race for Stage 1. The race starts in Mountain Plaza near Gondola One in Vail Village, then up a dirt climb on Mill Creek Road, out to West Vail South and back to Vail Village after looping through the Golf Course area. Stage 2 is the legendary time trial course starting in Mountain Plaza and finishing near the summit of Vail Pass with 1,574 feet of climbing to the finish. Fans can also enjoy the Whistle Pig Vail Gravel Fondo on Friday, Aug. 17 and the Whistle Pig Vail Jerry Garcia Birthday Band concerts at the Ford Amphitheater Aug. 17-18.
The Vail Valley Foundation is acting as local organizing committee (LOC) and the event is sponsored, in part, by the Town of Vail. Mayor Dave Chapin says the event is a welcome addition to Vail’s summer offerings. “We’re known around the world for hosting extraordinary events and the Colorado Classic is no exception,” he says. “Vail has a proud tradition of welcoming professional cycling here and we’re honored to showcase our mountain terrain and hospitality.” To that end, Chapin is encouraging residents to plan ahead by knowing how the races will impact access to their neighborhoods. Numerous road closures will be in place on race days; the only access allowed will be for emergency services.
Lodges and short-term rental properties in the impacted areas of Lionshead, Cascade Village, West Vail, East Vail, portions of Vail Village and other areas adjacent to the routes are being asked to advise guests to consider early departures and late arrivals for ease of access due to the closures which will remain in place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Employers are also asked to assist with logistics for their employees.
Spectator & Commuter Tips
Event planners are encouraging spectators and commuters to use public transportation, carpool or ride their bikes into Vail on race days as parking will be limited. The Lionshead parking structure will be closed to all inbound and outbound vehicles from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Thursday’s circuit race. The Vail Village parking structure will be open as normal, but will fill fast. To provide additional options, ECO Regional Transit will offer free express service from Edwards to the Vail Transportation Center every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. The Lionshead and Vail Village parking structures will be open for free daytime parking during the remainder of the races with overflow parking taking place on the North and South Frontage Roads which will be serviced by Vail Transit. For a map of the parking areas, visit parking.coloradoclassicvail.com. For ECO Transit, visit eaglecounty.us/transit/ or call 970-328-3531.
Vail Village and Lionshead businesses will be fully accessible to pedestrians during the races. Fencing will be used to separate the race course from the spectators and designated crossings will be used for additional pedestrian access. The Vail Valley Foundation is seeking more than 300 volunteers each day to assist as course marshals and in other capacities to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment. If interested in being a part of the race, visit coloradoclassicvail.com for more information.
Recommended spectator areas for the Stage 1 circuit race include the start area at Mountain Plaza throughout the Vail Village, and at the Vail Athletic Fields, where the race will finish.
The best viewing areas for the Stage 2 Time Trial will be along the course route in Vail Village and at the climb on Old Highway 6 to the finish. Spectators should bring water, sunscreen, a hat and plan for all types of weather. Consider riding a bike from Vail Village or head to the top of Vail Pass and ride down to the finish area. Another option is to use the East Vail bus route to access outlying spectator areas or for those wanting to walk up the race course on Old Highway 6.
Road Closures, Transportation Route Changes & Other Adjustments
A series of road closures will be in place on race days throughout the course routes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. For a full list of the neighborhood closures, visit roads.coloradoclassicvail.com. This includes a full closure of exit 180 on Interstate 70 in East Vail and trailhead parking closures for Booth Falls, Pitkin Creek, Bighorn, Deluge Lake and Gore Creek on Friday, Aug. 17.
Also, modifications to the in-town and outlying Vail bus routes have been identified. For details, visit buses.coloradoclassicvail.com.
Loading and delivery must be completed to all businesses in Vail Village by 6 a.m. and to all businesses in Lionshead by 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. On Friday, Aug. 17, restrictions apply only to Vail Village businesses in which deliveries must again be completed by 6 a.m.
Other adjustments include closure of the Town of Vail offices at 75 S. Frontage Road due to restricted access on Thursday, Aug. 16. Town offices will reopen on Friday, Aug. 17. The Vail Public Library will remain open on both race days.
The Vail Golf Course will be closed until 3 p.m. on Aug. 16. However, the driving range and Golf Clubhouse restaurant, the Grill on the Gore, will be open to foot traffic on that day. The golf course and clubhouse will be open for regular business on Friday, Aug. 17; however, traffic will be one-way, along Vail Valley Drive to enter.
All Ford Park venues, including the Tennis Center, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Education Center will be open as usual on race days; however, access will be limited to pedestrian traffic as parking will be impacted by the road closures.
The Colorado Classic operates under special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. No parking will be allowed on Bighorn Road from the overpass to the gate from 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 extending to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. The Gore Creek Campground will remain open on race days with vehicle access prohibited for the duration of the event on Friday, Aug. 17.
To access Vail Health Hospital for all emergencies and scheduled appointments, please utilize South Frontage Road, turning onto East Lionshead Circle and proceeding to West Meadow Drive for the emergency entrance at 181 West Meadow Drive. Complimentary valet parking service is available during daytime hours for all patients and guests. During the race, additional self-parking is available in the west lower level of the Lionshead parking structure (150 designated spaces) with a short walk traveling east along the pathway to the hospital. Any appointments at the Medical Professional Building (US Bank), must also use this same route to West Meadow Drive, proceeding east past the hospital emergency entrance. Turn north into the Medical Professional Building rear entrance driveway where there will also be complimentary valet parking service. Any questions can be directed to the main Vail Health phone number at 970-476-2451.
Information and Updates
To sign up for neighborhood updates in advance of the races, go to vailgov.com/coloradoclassicvail. For race information, follow ColoradoClassicPro on Facebook and Instagram and @CoClassicPro on Twitter. Watch the race live on Tour Tracker.
Real-time information about traffic alerts, parking availability and bus schedules will be available on the town’s social media outlets including @VailPolice on Twitter and the VailPolice Facebook page. For event or emergency alerts, subscribe to ecalert.org and select the “special events” category.
For more information or questions about neighborhood impacts, contact Code Enforcement Officer Michael Chon at mchon or call 970-306-2466.