Waverly officials ready for RAGBRAI money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waverly officials ready for RAGBRAI money

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Thousands of of cyclists will soon descend on three Eastern Iowa towns, and that has some officials ready for the rubber to meet the road.

The 2014 route for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) was announced Saturday. Waverly and Independence will both host overnight stops. The ride will begin in Rock Valley, and stop in Okoboji, Emmetsburg, Forest City and Mason City. Riders will finish the race by dipping their tires in the Mississippi at Guttenberg.

Though the streets are covered in snow now, Darrin Siefken, owner of CrawDaddy Outdoors, is already excited for the Waverly stop.

"For business, it'll be a good deal, especially being an outdoor recreation business," Siefken said.

Hosting thousands of overnight visitors is no simple task, but Waverly officials said the return is worth the investment.

"RAGBRAI says anywhere from $3.5 to $4 million dollars of economic impact can be felt in the Waverly area, just in that 24 hour period," Emily Neuendorf, Executive Director for the Waverly Chamber of Commerce, said. "That's awesome."

Waverly hasn't hosted a RAGBRAI stay since 1999. So now, people like Siefken are preparing for whatever those riders might need.

"Maybe they're coming into town and needing camping supplies," he said. "Maybe their tent got destroyed at the last campsite."

Neuendorf said they're not doing it alone.

"That's the beauty of Waverly, we're a community that takes care of itself," Neuendorf said. "The whole team is going to come together to make this happen."

"That's how we work in Waverly," said Tab Ray, Director of Leisure Services. "We're not big enough to do things all by ourselves, so we rely on other agencies to help us out."

Neuendorf said they will host RAGBRAI staff in Waverly on February 5.

The race starts July 20.

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