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Posted on: May 31, 2018

Vail Valley Receives Prestigious Silver-Level IMBA Ride Center Designation


Vail Valley Receives Prestigious Silver-Level International Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Center Designation

Avon, CO – The Avon Town Council is pleased to share the recent International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announcement that the Vail Valley is one of the newest recipients of its IMBA Ride Center™ Silver – Level Ride Center Designation.  Roanoke, Virginia, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, also received the Ride Center Designation.

"These Ride Center status designations solidify the enthusiasm for mountain biking in each of these communities, and recognizes them as some of today's greatest mountain bike destinations," said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director. "Trails improve communities, from the local rider to the city's bottom line. We look forward to the many ways Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Vail Valley and Steamboat Bike Town will thrive with their new Ride Center designations."

The Vail Valley has long been one of America’s favorite recreational destinations and, over the past several years, the valley’s communities have been steadily developing top quality single track trails. Avon’s West Avon Preserve is one of the most renowned trail systems in the valley.  Constructed in 2014, the more than 11 miles of trails are accessible from the town’s paved bike paths, and offer a variety of terrain for all ability levels, in the heart of the Vail Valley.  The trail system was thoughtfully created in the Preserve, while protecting the natural environment, open space and wildlife qualities of the area.

“I am very proud of the support from the residents and guests of Avon to help us grow and enhance our great trail systems, all of which are part of the Vail Valley's Silver-Level Ride Center,” said Avon Town Council Member, Scott Prince. “The West Avon Preserve, a 478-acre open space area in the heart of Avon has a variety of amazing trails, including the top rated, Lee’s Way Down. It is rewarding to have recognition from IMBA as a Silver Level Ride Center designation.”

IMBA Ride Centers feature extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trail builders and local volunteers. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only trails to family-friendly riding, mountain bikers can expect the best the sport has to offer at an IMBA Ride Center. Trails systems are integrated, well-designed, and embraced by the surrounding communities for the economic, tourism and other benefits they provide.

The Vail Valley successfully met the IMBA criteria in that it encompasses the arid landscapes of Eagle, Avon and Edwards, and the lush aspen and evergreen forests of Beaver Creek and Vail. IMBA seeks communities with something for every rider, from a variety of mountain biking experiences for locals and visitors alike, to robust local accommodations for visiting mountain bikers.  Big climbs, challenging descents and incredible alpine landscapes can be found on Vail’s most quintessential rides (both lift-served and not). Regular free bus service, several paved paths and abundant food and lodging options all supported the IMBA designation.

“We’re very proud of the county-wide effort behind our IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center designation,” said Rich Carroll, President of Vail Valley Trail Connection (the nonprofit that submitted the application in partnership with the local IMBA chapter). “Our community is making great strides to ensure that our [natural-surface] trail network is world-class and on par with the Vail Valley’s renowned winter recreation experience.”

The additions of Roanoke and the Vail Valley bring the total number of IMBA Ride Centers to 39 (six Gold, 15 Silver, 18 Bronze), nine of which are outside of the U.S. Virginia and Colorado now each have three Ride Centers, alongside Arkansas and Minnesota. Idaho leads the U.S. states with four Ride Centers.

“The Ride Center designation would not have been achieved without the leadership and work of local and area residents,” said Mayor Jennie Fancher. “They carried the vision and now, over several years of committed effort, have successfully brought to the Vail Valley this highly-sought after recognition. On behalf of the Avon Town Council, we thank these tireless volunteers.”

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