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Bicycle Tourism Forum planned in Stevensville

The Stevensville Bicycle Camp Committee is hosting a Bicycle Tourism Forum Tuesday, April 14. Kathleen Meyer, member of the SBCC, said the meeting is to educated people in the area about the vision and the potential impact. “We have incredible speakers coming,” said Meyer.

MICHELLE MCCONNAHA – Ravalli Republic

STEVENSVILLE – The Stevensville Bicycle Camp Committee is hosting a Bicycle Tourism Forum on Tuesday, April 14.

“Everyone is welcome – town officials, business owners, bicyclists and anyone interested,” said Joan Prather, executive director of the Stevensville Main Street Association. “It is to educate everyone about the bicycle tourism and what it can bring to the town and how Stevensville can accommodate bicyclists.”

The Stevensville Bicycle Camp Committee is a subcommittee of the Stevensville Main Street Association’s Economic Development Committee. They have a broad vision for increasing Stevensville’s tourism economy by welcoming bicycle tourists.

Kathleen Meyer, a member of the SBCC, said the meeting is to educate people in the area about the vision and potential impact of expanding bicycle tourism.

“We have incredible speakers coming,” said Meyer. “This will cover aspects of the whole valley: kiosks for bike trails, connecting the 93 bike trail from Lolo to Missoula, and a look at what other towns are doing – Twin Bridges, for example.

“We are unique – cyclists can ride the 93 path, then take the cutoff path to Lewis and Clark Park. We are a small town with lots of traffic and we want make cyclists feel welcome. We want to have bicycle lockers – where cyclists can safely store their equipment while enjoying our town.”

At the forum, they plan to unveil the first sketches and a map of Lewis and Clark Park.

Presenters at the forum include: Ginny Sullivan, Director of Travel Initiatives, Adventure Cycling, “Building Bicycle Tourism”; Jean Belangie-Nye, President of the Board, Bike Walk Alliance of Missoula, BWAM, “Lolo to Missoula Update”; Melinda Barnes, Executive Director, Bike Walk Montana, “Local and Regional Benefits of Bicycle Tourism”; Roger DeBrito, Journeys from Home Montana and Florence Civic Club, “Bike Path Kiosks & Signage”; Amy Leach and Kathleen Meyer Stevens, SBCC’s Mission & Vision, “Let’s Build a Tent-Camping Facility!”

Meyer recommended that interested people come to the forum and also read information from: Montana Business Quarterly, Summer 2014 issue, “Bicycle Tourism: Providing Economic Development Opportunities for Montana”; “When Washington Bikes, It Brings Billions of Bucks: Part 2” from Adventure Cycling Blog, Feb. 11, 2015 and Adventure Cycling link to Cyclists-Only Lodging around the country.

The Stevensville Bicycle Camp Committee’s Bicycle Tourism Forum will be Tuesday, April 14, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the North Valley Library Community Room, 201 Main Street, Stevensville.

SBCC is a subcommittee of the Stevensville Main Street Association’s Economic Development Committee, a 501(c)3. All donations are tax deductible, 102 Main Street, Stevensville, 777-3773. For more information visit: StevensvilleBicycleCamp.org.

Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com.

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Staff Reporter

Reporter at The Ravalli Republic