Sioux Center businesses prepare for RAGBRAI - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux Center businesses prepare for RAGBRAI

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KTIV) -

For cycling enthusiasts, it's been the talk of the town.

For the fourth time, Sioux Center will serve as the starting point for this year's RAGBRAI route.

Now with less than six months to go until the big day, the city and business owners are using their past experiences to build for future success.

"We will be privileged and honored to be hosting RAGBRAI XL when it takes off on their journey this year," said Ardith Lein, Executive Director of the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce.

The annual bike ride that takes cyclists across the Hawkeye state starts in Sioux Center. And that's getting businesses excited for the waves of people coming into town.

"They will be gearing up and be ready for them to meet whatever needs our guests will have," said Lein.

Especially the local hotels.

"We get the chance to show our expertise at hospitality," said Randy Keith, General Manager of the Econolodge.

"It means that were going to fill up at least two or three days and we're just excited to be in on RAGBRAI starting and be able to accommodate people," said Henry Byl, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express.

Both hotel managers say even though the event is a few months away, they are fully booked.

"People get word of who is bidding and they make reservations in advance. So we were already actually sold out prior to the announcement," said Keith.

"The phone has been ringing off the hook and were having to tell them that yes we are full and we don't have anymore rooms available," said Byl.

The last time Sioux Center hosted RAGBRAI was 10 years ago.

They plan to use their past experiences to build on this one.

"Well we don't want to overbook because we want to make sure we have enough rooms for the people that are coming," said Byl.

"We are not going to be happy with Status Quo from 10 years ago. We will do all that we can to make this one even better," said Lein.

But no matter if you're watching, working, or riding RAGBRAI, officials say they are proud to kickoff the tour.

"It's just a great win-win for RAGBRAI and Sioux Center and the surrounding towns," said Byl.

"Our primary goal is to showcase our community and just to welcome the people to our community," said Lein.

Last time Sioux Center hosted RAGBRAI, officials say they took home a profit of about $6,000 in addition to building a new recreation trail in town.

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