Grand Junction Off-Road event boosts local businesses

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Mountain bikers and those who came into town to enjoy the first Grand Junction Off-Road needed places to stay, eat and hang out, which local businesses said they were more than happy to provide.

"Without the bike race I probably would've had four empty rooms," said Henry Starks, general manager of the Melrose Hotel. "So with the bike race it filled up everything else for the weekend."

The 105-year-old Melrose Hotel is located one street away from where the start and finish line of the mountain biking races was located for three days.

"I have guests running in and out all day long competing then after they're done competing come wash up and go next door to Naggy's or the Rockslide or go check out the event itself," Starks said.

Naggy McGee's employees said they also saw an increase in business over the weekend from the event.

"This weekend we saw a lot of the off-road racer people," said Phil Johnson, the restaurant's executive chef. "Yesterday was a really fun day. Kind of helped spice up downtown. We got to see a lot of those racers come in and enjoy a little Irish cheer."

Professional mountain bikers visiting for the weekend said they appreciated all that Grand Junction had to offer for when they weren't out racing.

"Coming from Crested Butte, small town, it's like big city here," said Zach Guy, who competed in Sunday's pro race. "And I was excited to go out and there's all sorts of restaurants."