Governor Hickenlooper makes Colorado Riverfront Trail completion a priority

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FRUITA, Colo. Whether you walk or bike, for more than 25 years the Colorado Riverfront Trail has been connecting those here in the Grand Valley.

"The whole Riverfront Trail project is important," said Colorado Riverfront Commission member Stacy Beaugh.

Governor Hickenlooper agrees so strongly with Beaugh that on Wednesday he announced the Colorado Riverfront Trail as one of the state's highest priority trials for completion. While the announcement doesn't guarantee any funding, it does, however, carry some weight.

"That will help give us some notoriety in those grant applications to say hey this is a priority," said Beaugh.

The trail is only a few miles from completion, but the City of Fruita says they need about $2 million to get the job done. With the Governor's backing they're hoping to secure the funds through a Great Outdoors Colorado grant.

"That absolutely puts us in a better competitive place than we would have been without it, and I think it is really going to elevate our chances to complete the trail," said Fruita’s Mayor, Lori Buck.

The completed trails will stretch from Palisade to Loma. It will then connect to the Kokopelli Trail, which will take a biker all the way to Moab, Utah.

"That's a benefit because we are hoping mountain bikers will stay in our hotels, park their cars and ride their bikes, and then ride their bikes back to the hotels and eat in the restaurants," said Mayor Buck.

The Feedlot Restaurant, which lies at the current end of the trail has seen increased business as a result of recent trail improvement.

"People like to walk the trail and ride their bikes and we're one of the first restaurants that they come to," said The Feedlot’s owner Tammy Parker.

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