Bike race and medical wilderness conference exemplify new opportunities for the county

Organizers’ efforts energize the local economy

A bike ride in Eastern Plumas County and a wilderness medical conference held in the central portion of the county are just two examples of new events that are playing to our area’s strengths — natural beauty and community spirit.

The Lost and Found bike race, the first jewel of the triple-crown Gravel Grinder bike competition, brought 1,250 bicycle riders to Lake Davis and Portola for the June 2 ride.

That same weekend, Plumas District Hospital in Quincy hosted the first Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference, which drew 90 healthcare personnel — several from out of state, and even from Guam. Doctors, nurses and other personnel, including five individuals from Brooklyn, attended the three-day conference, which included a schedule that made time for such activities as hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, birding, paddleboarding and fly fishing.

Plumas County’s natural resources provided the beautiful backdrop and terrain for both events, but it took a host of organizations and community volunteers to make them each a success. The same can be said of the bulk of the events that occur throughout this county.

These are the types of events that we need to embrace and encourage because not only do they benefit the participants, but the provide a jolt for the local economy. For example, in conversation with some of the medical conference attendees, they described all of the restaurants that they had eaten at in downtown Quincy. And the restaurants accommodated the attendees by extending their hours. Kudos to event organizers for contacting local businesses and giving them a heads up about the influx of visitors and what their particular needs might be. Communication is key to successful events — especially alerting local restaurants and merchants so that they are prepared for the increased business that they might expect.

Many events have been held for years and we have all come to expect them, but it’s nice to see the addition of events such as those mentioned above which draw on our natural environment. But there are other new entries, such as last year’s debut of the Americana Festival held at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. Fair Manager John Steffanic conceived of the idea as a way to expand the use of that venue, and in the process has brought new entertainment and commerce to town.

It would be easy for individuals and organizations to sit back and enjoy the status quo, but instead some have had the vision and willingness to undertake these events, which require considerable time and energy. They bring several benefits: more opportunities for recreation and entertainment, an economic boost, exposure for tourism, and even bring new residents as attendees discover Plumas County.

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