2018 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

 

2012 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
Photo: Scott DW Smith Photography

Which is faster: a train or a bicycle? That was the pressing question between two competitive brothers who raced each other from Durango to Silverton.

In 1971, cycling enthusiast Tom Mayer was living in Durango and loved riding the roads in the area. His brother, Jim, was a brakeman on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. One day they bet a candy bar to see who would reach Silverton first: Tom on his 10-speed or Jim on the Durango train. Jim was surprised to pull into the Silverton station to see Tom waiting for him.

That famous ride birthed Tom’s idea to turn it into a race, and now the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic has been a favorite Durango bike race since 1972. This year will be the 47th year of the classic road race that includes three days of events over Memorial Day weekend:

Friday, May 25, 2018

  • 3-7 p.m. — Final Packet Pickup Buckley Park
  • Narrow Horse Swim
  • 3-8 p.m. — Steamworks Faceplant Party with beer, live music, vendors and bike parade at Buckley Park in downtown Durango
  • Iron BMX

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sunday May 27, 2018

Whether you’re in Durango to compete in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, to support an athlete or simply to enjoy the festivities, stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites! We’re one of the best Durango hotels for this event. We’re located only half a mile north of Buckley Park, which is a straight shot on Main Avenue. The Econo Lodge Durango is under new ownership, so come check us out and reserve your room today!

Durango Bluegrass Meltdown 2018

Mile Twelve band Durango Bluegrass Meltdown
Photo: Mile Twelve

As the snowmelt starts, so does the meltdown — the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, that is. The annual Durango music festival is now in its 24th year, and the three-day weekend April 20-22 is filled with concerts, jam sessions, workshops and shows. You definitely don’t want to miss it because you’ll be missing out.

Venues

There are three main venues where bluegrass bands and acts will take the stage throughout the weekend: Henry Strater Theatre, Durango Arts Center and Wild Horse Saloon, although other venues include the Powerhouse Science Center, Animas City Theatre and the Durango Elks Lodge as well as a slew of bars and pubs around town.

Lineup and Headliners

This year’s Meltdown lineup is massive with nearly 30 bands on the docket and massive names on the marquis. Headliners include the Becky Buller Band, the Molly Tuttle Band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and Mile Twelve.

In 2016, Becky Buller made bluegrass music history when she won both instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, making her the first person ever to win both.

Molly Tuttle is an award-winning songwriter and singer who has toured extensively with her band at many prominent festivals including Rocky Grass Festival and Wintergrass Festival, and who received a 2016 IBMA Momentum Award as Instrumentalist.

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys  are a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass quartet that “remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.”

Mile Twelve’s five members formed the band in 2014, and the group has made big moves in a short time. They won the 2017 IBMA Momentum Award and have been touring extensively through the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including sets at major festivals such as FreshGrass Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival.

Meltdown Highlights

Band Showcase
Noon-6 p.m., Saturday, April 21
Durango Elks Lodge

The Band Showcase has been a staple since the beginnings of the Meltdown. The showcase gives a stage to bands who might shy away from the spotlight or don’t feel ready for the “main stage.” And the showcase is a little more flexible when it comes to the bluegrass part of the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown; other toe-tapping music genres are welcomed and are always entertaining. Always a favorite during Meltdown, the showcase is also free to the public and will take place downstairs at the Durango Elks Lodge, from noon to 6 pm on Saturday.

Super Jam
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Henry Stater Theater

The name says it all: It’s a jam. It’s super. It’s Super Jam. Catch the in-the-moment music magic as musicians from different bands come together to jam. Get a bunch of pickin’, playin’, fiddlin’ musicians together, and you never know what will happen — or what kind of music they’ll make. Former Durango local and longtime bluegrass lover Annie Savage will be hosting the event and is sure to throw together some incredible collaborations for the stage.

Old Time Barn Dance
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Durango Elks Lodge

The Old Time Barn Dance is actually a newer addition to Meltdown — as in it’s only been around for 12 years. The barn dance is a family-friendly community favorite and has become a Meltdown must-do since it debuted in 2006. Six Dollar String Band will be playing tunes for you to kick up your heels and swing up your skirts in the Elks Lodge dance hall. Admission is free with either a Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband, or it’s $10 at the door.

Durango Hotels

Whether you’re “with the band” or just want to see some bands, the Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is your best bet for Durango Meltdown hotels. The Econo Lodge Durango is a hop, skip and jump north of downtown Durango, so the hotel provides easy access to all the different Meltdown venues. Book your room today and stay with us while you enjoy the shindigs and shenanigans!

New Year’s in Durango

Purgatory torchlight parade and fireworks

There are two types of people in this world: Those who go out on New Year’s Eve, and those who don’t. Oversimplification? Sure, but sums it up pretty nicely, no? Extroverts vs. introverts, homebodies vs. party animals — you get the gist.

For those who don’t want to miss all the action, there are plenty of things to do in Durango on New Year’s Eve. And for those who want to stay home, warm and cozy to watch the ball drop, there’s plenty to in Durango on New Year’s Day.

Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort knows how to party on New Year’s Eve. The resort is offering several New Year’s Eve dining options, including a New Year’s Eve dinner at Hoody’s; pizza at Paradise Pizzeria along with all the New York City New Year’s festivities on the big screen; and extended dining and bar hours at Purgy’s, where the party will continue with Durango bluegrass band The Outskirts playing until 1 a.m.

For something super duper special, you can also reserve a spot for the Snowcat dinner. Ride in a Snowcat from the base area to Powderhouse Restaurant to enjoy a five-course dinner with wine pairings.

Purgatory’s signature NYE event, though, is the torchlight parade and fireworks show. The resort’s entire ski school lights up the slopes as they ski down the mountain carrying torchlights. When the parade arrives at the base area, it’s time to light up the sky with a fireworks show!

After the fireworks, catch another show: the New Year’s Eve Night Rail Jam. The area’s best talent will showcase their skills under the lights at DC terrain park.

On both New Year’s Eve afternoon and again on New Year’s Day, guests can also take a Snowcat tour — sans dinner but plus hot cocoa and sweeping views.

The best part? Purgatory is offering a free shuttle to and from Durango daily during select times from 9:30 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. through Jan. 7. The resort shuttle will run from Purgatory Plaza to the heart of downtown Durango and from downtown Durango to Purgatory.

Strater Hotel Dinner and Music

Mahogany Grill located in the Strater Hotel is something of an institution when it comes to holiday dinners, and New Year’s Eve is no exception, except for the exceptional holiday spread the restaurant will be serving from 5-9 p.m.

After you’ve had your fill, simply walks a few steps to Diamond Belle Saloon or the The Office Spiritorium, both located in the hotel, for a drink (or two or more) and some live music.

New Year’s Day Brunch Train

Hop aboard the Durango train to enjoy the New Year’s Day Brunch Train. The Durango & Silverton steam-powered train will huff and puff along the rails as passengers enjoy a hot brunch buffet, live music and winter-white scenery sliding past the windows. Premium Class tickets include a catered hot brunch that features a yogurt bar, Belgian waffles, skillet scrambles and plenty more as well as free non-alcoholic drinks and live music. Standard class tickets don’t include brunch, but passengers will have access to the concession car.

During a 45-minute stop at Cascade Canyon wye, passengers can disembark to take a stroll to the footbridge and then warm up by the stone fireplace — or they can choose to stay warm and comfy in their cars.

Durango Hotels

If you’re looking for Durango hotels for your long New Year’s weekend in Durango, stay with us at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Durango near downtown Durango. We’re located on Main Avenue, just a few blocks from the hub of downtown, and Purgatory is a straight shot north of us. Warm up by the fireplace in our newly renovated lobby! Book your holiday stay with the Econo Lodge Durango today.