Desert towns pull in the welcome mat for mountain bikers

By Steve Frothingham

MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — For many Colorado mountain bikers and Spring Breakers from around the country, a March trip to Utah is an annual tradition. But this year the town would rather tourists stay home. On Monday a regional health department banned camping and hotel stays in a three-county area surrounding Moab.

The order also closed restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Two of the town’s busiest bike shops — which do a huge bike rental and demo business in season — each closed on Tuesday.

The lodging and camping ban was enacted in part to discourage visitors who could overtax Moab’s health services.

As of Tuesday, the day the lodging ban took effect, Moab trails were still busy, said Mark Sevenoff, the owner of Western Spirit, a Moab-based mountain bike trip company.

“Despite all the warnings there’s a lot of people in town,” Sevenoff said. After Colorado ordered ski resorts to close Sunday, many vacationers drove to Utah to mountain bike and hike and perhaps just wait out the COVID-19 in the clean desert air. Most Utah ski resorts announced voluntary closures on Sunday, as well.

On Monday, officials with Moab Regional Hospital sent a letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert asking …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News