Small Idaho towns see impact of Exergy Tour

Credit: KTVB

Small Idaho towns see impact of Exergy Tour

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 7:36 PM

IDAHO CITY -- The Exergy Tour wrapped up Monday what turned out to be a high energy week that rolled through several Idaho cities.

It’s events like the Exergy Tour that small towns like Idaho City and Crouch in Boise County, depend on to make some extra money. But for this tour, not every town experienced the same thing.

On Tuesday, Chelsey Gilbert scoops ice cream for tourists, something she's done for the last several years.

"There's the Huckleberry for you," Gilbert said to one customer from Boise.

On Sunday, when the Exergy Tour set up camp outside her door, she saw something she'd never had before.

"The line actually, I heard was actually, I heard, to the pavement outside," said Gilbert.

It was 70 people deep, each waiting for a scoop of ice cream with a jelly bean at the bottom of the cone.

"The summers do get busy, we usually have a line about to the door, but this weekend with that big bike race in town was definitely a big thing," said Gilbert.

Across the street at Donna's Place, Skip Myers experienced the same thing.

"It’s probably been 20 years since we've had this kind of business, and this looks like the old days,” Myers said. “I mean the streets were full, people were smiling, they were happy.”

For his restaurant and general store, people turned quickly into profits.

"I think we were about one-third higher than last year at this time for the weekend," said Myers.

Idaho City Mayor Jackie Bridwell was surprised with how many people came to town.

"It is a kick off to our summer,” said Bridwell. “It is a big boost and the citizens and our merchants and people outside of Idaho City understand that we can provide services to them and a good experience.”

In Crouch, it wasn't the kick off Diane Caughlin was expecting.

"We were hoping for about 3,000 to come to town and made preparations for that, and we probably had about a third of that," said Caughlin, with the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Her town acted as the starting point for the race. And even though the impact wasn't as obvious as Idaho City, Caughlin hopes the race will be a starting point for their summer.

"We're hoping maybe that there's fallout from this, that people have never seen Crouch or Garden Valley and they got to see it now," said Caughlin.

Not only see, but buy food, ice cream and souvenirs as well.

"Without the tourists it'd be pretty hard to make a living up here," said Myers.

The Exergy Tour was just one event that both Boise County towns have planned for the summer. More events are planned for the next several weekends.

This weekend, Idaho City will host the Boise Ridge Riders, an off-road motorcycle race. Then later this summer, Idaho City will celebrate 150 years since the discovery of gold. That will be a weeklong event starting on July 28.

Also this weekend, Crouch will host a motorcycle rally. Then in July, many in Crouch and Garden Valley are looking forward to their all-day 4th of July celebrations.

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