Friday, March 30, 2012

Crosstoberfest moving to Hailey

City Council expresses support for fall event

Express Staff Writer

Racers compete in the 2011 Crosstoberfest races in Elkhorn. Express file photo

After staging six of the last seven years at Baldy's River Run base area, Crosstoberfest, the autumn ode to bike racing, may have found a permanent home at Old Cutter's subdivision in east Hailey.

At the invitation of Old Cutters developer John Campbell, cyclocross organizers Billy Olson, owner of the Powerhouse Pub & Bike Fit Studio, and Blaine County Recreation District Trails Director Eric Rector have already held races on the property. Now, with the help of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, the bike racing promoters are taking one of Idaho's key cycling competitions to a new level. The Crosstoberfest event is planned for the last weekend in October.

Though no immediate action was required from the city of Hailey, Olson and Rector presented their plan to the City Council last week.

"It would be a bike race and a beer festival," Olson said.

The race was held at the Sagewillow Farm in Elkhorn last year. However, for the growing event, Hailey presents a better venue, which could include Mountain Rides transportation support, Olson said.

"Old Cutters works better," he said. "I live here in Hailey and I hope it will be one of the [town's] marquee events in the future."

The Hailey City Council and Mayor Fritz Haemmerle enthusiastically expressed their support, but wanted details about the beer aspect of the event.

"It will be 35 percent beer, 65 percent bike racing," Olson said, adding that he and fellow organizers also hope to have plenty of music, adding entertainment to an event that he said will further legitimize bike racing in Idaho. "The more unique you can make this race, the more it will draw people in."

Olson said his goal is to have some 30 breweries represented at the cyclocross-racing festival. He said he hopes guest brewers can offer 100 beers to be sampled by athletes and spectators. He added that he has already received about a dozen verbal commitments from brewers.

"I like beer," said City Councilwoman Martha Burke. "I think it's a great idea."

"It really is about the bike race still," Olson said.

Rector said that for racing at Old Cutters, organizers are planning to create a grassy stair-step feature that can double as bleachers adjacent to the soccer field in the park on the property.

Chamber Manager Gee Gee Lowe said the organization is helping Crosstoberfest get off to a good start by managing permit applications, reserving banner space over Main Street and providing access to the town's social-media marketing.

"We're pinning down the details," Lowe said, adding that final dates and useful information for Crosstoberfest will soon be posted on the chamber's website ( "We're excited. We have great things going on here and we'd like people to know about it."

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