FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN) — Kelly Cook was getting her Trunk Lock ready for the market, but could not swing the expense of attending Interbike. The situation was the same for Orlando Baker, who was launching a bike line but found the trip to Las Vegas prohibitively expensive.
Not to worry as it turns out, Fort Collins’ Economic Health Director Josh Birks wrote a check for $5,000 to help off set the costs associated with the show, giving it to the newly created Fort Collins Bicycle Industry Alliance.
On Monday Cook, Baker and other Fort Collins businesses meet with Birks to discuss the show and strategize about the alliance’s future plans.
“As far as I’m concerned the group ticked the first box, they got Fort Collins name out there as a place to do business,” Birks said. “And one of the first calls I received after Interbike was from Denver thanking the city for helping the group out and inspired to see if they cannot do something similar in Denver,” he added.
Birks was not committing to future funding of the group, but he did note that from what he has heard since the show, and what he expects to hear at Monday's meeting, additional funding may be available.
Six companies shared the Fort Collins Bicycle Industry Alliance booth at Interbike with product and people: Big Shot Bikes, Boo Bicycles, Panda Bicycles, Orlando Baker Designs, Ridekick and Trunk Lock. About a dozen more companies were represented with logos and marketing materials, some like Niner and Swobo, had their own booths at the show.
“It was such a positive experience for all of us that we are already talking about a joint presence at VeloSwap in Denver and maybe at Sea Otter,” said Dee Wanger, co-owner of Ridekick, and driving force behind the creation of the alliance.
“We hope to follow up today’s meeting with Josh in a few months when we can actually put a dollar amount to the increased business we received as a result of being at the show. The whole point is to grow the Fort Collins economy, and I think it will be clear that the business we generated at the show did that,” she added.