Visit Ben­tonville to sup­port bik­ing events, among others

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - MELISSA GUTE Melissa Gute can be reached at mgute@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @NWAMelissa.

BEN­TONVILLE — The Ad­ver­tis­ing and Pro­mo­tions Com­mis­sion ap­proved spend­ing $75,400 to help 13 events show­ing prom­ise of bring­ing tourism dol­lars to the city at its meet­ing Thurs­day.

Five of those are bi­cy­cling re­lated, and two of those five will be this year.

GPP Cy­cling will hold a gravel ride Oct. 20 and 21. There will be a 50-mile and a 100-mile loop bik­ers can ride, Nick Lit­tle, event or­ga­nizer said. He ex­pects 500 peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate.

Visit Ben­tonville will give or­ga­niz­ers $3,500 for the event to help di­ver­sify Ben­tonville’s bik­ing events as most are geared to moun­tain bik­ing, Visit Ben­tonville staff said.

Com­mis­sion­ers also ap­proved giv­ing $1,500 to the first Pedaler’s Bash hosted by Pedaler’s Pub and Garver race team.

The 50- mile marathon moun­tain bike race will be at Slaugh­ter Pen and the Back 40 trail sys­tems Dec. 31. It will be one in a five-race se­ries through out the year, ac­cord­ing to the ap­pli­ca­tion. The race will be capped at 250 par­tic­i­pants.

The event will help Ben­tonville con­tinue to brand it­self as a des­ti­na­tion for year-round rid­ing, said An­drea Ritchie with Bike Ben­tonville.

The In­ter­na­tional Moun­tain Bi­cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion will be back in 2018 to hold its first Up­ris­ing event, which will bring women from across the bik­ing in­dus­try to­gether, ac­cord­ing to the fund­ing re­quest. The event will be held in March, about a year and a half af­ter the or­ga­ni­za­tion brought in more than 500 for its World Sum­mit in Ben­tonville.

The Na­tional In­ter­scholas­tic Cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion — or NICA — will hold its na­tional con­fer­ence in Ben­tonville on June 13. Arkansas’ chap­ter com­pleted its first league sea­son last year and is one of 19 state leagues in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to event or­ga­niz­ers.

Visit Ben­tonville al­lot­ted $7,500 for each of those two events.

The fifth cy­cling event Visit Ben­tonville will give money to — $ 7,500 — is Pub­lic Land So­lu­tion’s Pros­per­ous Com­mu­ni­ties Con­fer­ence in the fall 2018.

The pur­pose of the con­fer­ence is to high­light how Ben­tonville has pros­pered through in­vest­ments in “re­cre­ation as­sets and pub­lic land,” ac­cord­ing to the fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. At­ten­dance is ex­pected to be be­tween 400 to 500 peo­ple.

Com­mis­sion­ers also ap­proved $2,500 for the Cool Wa­ter Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber, $1,000 to the Church of God’s an­nual con­fer­ence, $1,500 for Cruis­ing the Ozarks car show in Oc­to­ber, $7,500 for an arm-wrestling cham­pi­onship in Jan­uary, $10,000 for Ben­tonville High School’s march­ing band in­vi­ta­tional in Oc­to­ber 2018, and $25,400 for three soft­ball tour­na­ments.

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