City of Fruita investing in the mountain biking community

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FRUITA, Colo. It’s no longer a secret, mountain biking is part of the Grand Valley's charm.

"It’s an activity all of us can do and whether we're extreme bikers, that's irrelevant, as long as you’re having fun as a family," said Stephen Smith who traveled with his family from Montana to mountain bike.

Cities are now looking for ways to appeal to more tourists, and get locals out on the trails.

"Fruita is synonymous with trails and it’s been a huge and positive impact for our community," said Fruita City Manager Mike Bennett.

Bennett says there are plans for expansion, like the completion of the Little Salt Wash Trail, connecting downtown Fruita, to the Colorado Riverfront.

"People come to Fruita as the base, and go to these trails, they spend money at the restaurants, they feel like a local when they come and visit. I think that is one of the distinguishing factors between us and Moab; is that you don’t feel like a tourist," said Bennett.

With the Grand Valley becoming a destination for biking, local shops are becoming increasingly invested in the mountain biking community.

"The way the mountain biker circuit works is we all communicate and we're all like ‘I went to this place and did this sweet ride, and then went to this sweet place to eat, and then I had coffee over here and breakfast over there,’ and it becomes this little network," said mountain bikers and owner of Hot Tomato Jen Zeuner.

Hot Tomato, Colorado Backcountry Biker and Over the Edge are looking to stay in the network, helping the city raise thousands to study where new trails can be built.

"We feel if we don't have new trails, and update what we're doing, we're going to lose a lot of our clientele," said Zeuner.

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