When rumor mill is great for downtown

Don’t we just love it! Call it gossip, talk of the town, the rumor mill … whatever it’s called, it’s a popular pastime, especially in small towns where everybody knows something about somebody else.

You know how it goes: Hear a little news, embellish the story just a bit and pass it along ... and the juicier the better.

Have you ever been part of that group exercise where the first person is given a script to read to the second person, who then passes the story on from memory, going person to person around the room. If you have – or haven’t – you know the result, the story that the last person hears is absolutely nothing like the original story.

And so it goes. We know gossip is a completely unreliable source of news and yet we swallow the delicious bait every time and pass it on saying, “Have you heard about … ?”

In downtown, the rumor mill is alive and well.

I am still amazed, but not surprised at how distorted the rumors get by the time someone finally picks up the phone. … “I heard that the city is selling City Hall to the United Nations. The money will used to remove all the bicycle racks in downtown to be replaced by mud benches on every block. … What’s the meaning of this?

So all you good gossipers can help by gossiping about this: There are still many individuals who do not read the paper, go to meetings, check online, listen to the radio, view local cable programming or hang out at the water cooler, thus leaving these otherwise busybodies short on gossip and real news.

Colorado is set to host the USA Pro Challenge, Aug. 20-26. It is an international bicycle spectacle built along the lines of the Tour de France, and Durango will host the overall start of the race on Aug. 20. This is a big deal and could attract as many as 20,000 people, twice the turnout for the annual Snowdown parade.

Viewers in 200 countries around the world will be tuning in Aug. 20 to see the overall start of this race – right here in Durango.

The community will enjoy big crowds for several days and receive international notoriety for years come. Many hundreds of local volunteers will be needed as the whole community will be called upon to shoulder this opportunity. Organizers have been holding meetings for months.

After we celebrate the Fourth of July, we will be in the homestretch and counting down to race day.

Please get up to speed on the details, pass the word, buy a T-shirt to support the local effort and consider volunteering.

Visit the local website at www.Durango2012.com or the race website at www.prochallenge.com.

kunkelra@cidurango.co.us Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango and executive director of the Business Improvement District.