Gunnison Growler Weekend

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Launches Summer with Colorado Outdoor Fun for All Ages

Biking, running, fishing & outdoor sports expo on Memorial Day weekend – May 26 – 28

Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colo. (April 25, 2012) — Located at 7,700 feet and home to Olympians and adventure athletes who compete across the globe, Gunnison, Colo., offers legendary trails for biking and running. There’s also plenty of fun for more casual recreationalists and visitors who have other ideas for fun, making the Gunnison Growler Weekend, May 26 – 28, the perfect convergence for all three sets.  There will be three days of biking events, trail running, a kids’ fishing and outdoor sports derby, and outdoor sports expo for the whole family to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, IOOF Park and one block of Virginia Avenue between Main Street and Iowa Street, will be filled with food vendors, live music and a beer garden for racers and the public to enjoy.  This downtown area also will be the start and finishes for all biking events.  The other centers of activities will be Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area and Jorgensen Park.

New for the weekend are the Kids Fishing & Outdoor Sports Derby and Gunnison Outdoor Expo on May 26 at Jorgensen Park.  Kids up to middle school age should bring their own tackle to fish Pac Man Pond for the derby, which runs from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  There also will be an archery range, 22 shooting trailer, educational booths and lunch available, all for free!  For information call the City of Gunnison’s Parks and Recreation Department at (970) 641-8060.

The expo will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and feature booths and demonstrations from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Elk Foundation, local adventure outfitters and more.  There also are seminars including Elk Calling 101 with Jodi and Weston Clark of Mossback Game Calls at 10:30 a.m.; Kokanee Fishing by Jared Jones of Rocky Mountain Tackle at noon, and Fly Fishing the Gunnison Valley with Oscar Marks of Gunnison River Fly Shop at 1:30 p.m.  At the expo, pre-register for a 3-D archery shoot with West Elk Archers on May 27.  The event is being hosted by the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce and Weekend Warriors Outdoors, with information available at (800) 274-7580 andwww.gunnisonchamber.com.

After consistently selling out immediately, the Original Growler is now being held over two days, May 26 and 27, to open up the popular mountain bike race to more riders without increasing numbers on the course. The 32-mile Half-Growler (one lap) will officially kick off the local bike racing season on Saturday at 9 a.m., followed by the 64-mileFull-Growler (two laps, climbing 4,000 vertical feet on each) on Sunday at 7 a.m.  Each race is capped at 350 riders and starts and finishes in downtown Gunnison at IOOF Park.  Registration is available at www.BikeReg.com with an entry fee of $75 for the Half-Growler and $95 for the Full-Growler.

The races are the primary fundraiser for Gunnison Trails, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining and expanding the singletrack experience in the Gunnison area, including working toward building the Gunnison to Crested Butte trail.  Go to www.gunnisontrails.com for information.

The second annual Growler Gran Fondo ride from Gunnison to Crested Butte and back will begin on May 27 at 7:30 a.m., immediately following the Full-Growler start.  This fund-raising ride for Gunnison Country Partners follows Highway 135 North to the four-way stop in Crested Butte.  At that point, riders have an option to continue up the road past Mt. Crested Butte and to the top of Prospect.  This section will be the lone timed section and will be timed one way only (uphill). At that point the riders will reverse direction and return back to Gunnison the same way.  The total route distance is approximately 64 miles and has 2,200 feet of climbing.

There will be awards for the top three men and women for the timed section. The first 50 people to register will get a special goodie bag provided by the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.  Registration is available at www.bikereg.comand costs $64 before May 1 and $80 after the early-bird deadline.  For more information contact Mike Tofel at (970) 275-4138 and visit www.gunnisonmentors.com.

The fifth annual Sage Burner on May 28 features 25k and 50k trail running races, both starting at
7 a.m. The competition, organized by the Western State College track and cross country programs, is limited to the first 350 registrants.  All information and registration details can be found at www.sageburnertrailrun.com.  The early-bird cost to register is $55 for the 25k and $65 for the 50k.  Starting May 1, the cost goes up $10 for each race.  Prize money for the first three finishers in the men’s and women’s divisions of the 25k race will be offered. For more information, contact Coach & Race Director Jennifer Michel at (970) 943-3263.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information
To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte’s calendar of events and personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free number (800) 814-8893 or visitwww.GunnisonCrestedButte.com/packages.  Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbtaor follow us on www.twitter.com/gcbta.

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver and also by Continental Airlines and American Airlines in the winter.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado.  Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.  Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities.  In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding.  Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields.  Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.  Only three
miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks.  Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte.  Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

Source: Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, Colorado

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