Town of Breckenridge to buy mountain bike events and leagues from Maverick Sports Promotions |

Town of Breckenridge to buy mountain bike events and leagues from Maverick Sports Promotions

Town to operate Firecracker 50, Summit Mountain Challenge and Junior Mountain Bike League beginning in October

Parker Merrill negotiates the rocks and roots of Copper Mountain's Red Tail trail at last Wednesday’s Copper Mountain Melee, round five of the 2021 Summit Mountain Challenge mountain bike race series. The Maverick Sports Promotions series is set to be purchased by the town of Breckenridge.
Photo by John Hanson

The town of Breckenridge and Jeff “Westy” Westcott of Maverick Sports Promotions have agreed to a deal for the town to purchase from Westcott the Firecracker 50, the Summit Mountain Challenge and Mountain Bike Junior League.

Westcott said Tuesday, Aug. 17, that the deal stipulates the town would overtake operation of the mountain bike events effective for the 2022 summer season. The agreement also stipulates that beginning next year, Westcott and Maverick Sports Promotions will be contracted by the town to conduct timing, results and data management for the events as well as the town’s Independence Day 10K trail run.

The Summit Mountain Challenge is a seven-race series on alternating Wednesdays each summer serving the local community while the Mountain Bike Junior League consists of races and group rides throughout the summer. The races in the series this summer are the Frisco Roundup, Gold Run Rush, Pennsylvania Gulch Grind, Soda Creek Scramble, Copper Mountain Melee, Peaks Trail Time Trial and The Fall Classic.

Held annually on July 4, the Firecracker 50 is a larger scale event steeped in Summit County sports history that last month brought more than 780 racers, and their supporting friends and family, to Breckenridge.

“I’m hoping that they’ll take it to the next level, and I am confident that they’ll be able to do so,” Westcott said. “We’ll still be involved for a minimum of five years, and if you were to show up next year to the Frisco Roundup, it’s going to look, feel and sound the same. And I have always known this thing would outlast me because it’s such a part of our community’s culture.”

Westcott co-founded Maverick Sports Promotions in 2001 along with Breck Epic founder and race director Mike McCormack. Ever since, Westcott — who is now sole proprietor of Maverick Sport Promotions — has operated the Summit Mountain Challenge, Junior Mountain Bike League and Firecracker 50.

Westcott said in recent years that it has been a personal goal of his to ramp down his event operation by the time he reaches 60 years old, which is next year. Westcott said although there were some other groups recently interested in purchasing his events, nothing panned out before the town of Breckenridge approached him in March.

Westcott and town of Breckenridge recreation department officials said the longtime preexisting working relationship between Maverick Sports and the town should lead to a seamless transition. Both parties also said they expect the events and race series will resemble the quality, culture and style of what racers have become accustomed to under Westcott’s direction.

Westcott said Tuesday that the town has provided an initial down payment for the deal. He declined to share the agreed upon price, saying details are slated to be finalized in October.

Town of Breckenridge recreation officials Scott Reid, Jon Dorr and Vince Hutton said though the Firecracker 50 is the preeminent moneymaker of the events the town purchased from Westcott, the town wanted to acquire the Mountain Challenge and Junior League in a package because of their importance to the community.

“As a community, we want to control and maintain those things that matter to us,” Reid said. “For the community, that’s a high priority — to control our own destiny. And Westy has done a good job all those years with those elements, so this fits right into what we do. And the Mountain Bike Junior League element is an expansion of what we already do.”

Dorr said the town’s acquisition of the Junior League would enable the town to feed youth mountain bike camp participants — of which he said there are 400 this summer — into the league. Hutton said the acquisition of the Mountain Challenge will enable the town to host one community-centric event each Wednesday throughout the summer — trail runs one week and mountain bike races the next. Reid said the town also intends to operate the current Mountain Challenge events that take place outside of the town of Breckenridge, such as the Frisco Roundup, in the same fashion Westcott currently does.

As for the Firecracker 50, Reid said its acquisition will enable the town to strengthen its Independence Day sporting festivities at the heart of the annual Main Street parade and celebration. The town already operates one of its biggest annual sporting events, the Independence Day 10K, the morning of July 4, with the final runners finishing just before the start of the Firecracker.

Reid added that Hutton and other town of Breckenridge recreation staff members have worked consistently this summer to shadow Westcott at mountain bike races. Reid said staff will also lean on their institutional knowledge of helping with Westcott’s races.

“It’s really not just this summer I’ve been working with Westy; he’s shown me the ropes my entire time here since Day 1,” Hutton said. “His teachings and everything that he puts forward — the knowledge he has is vast.”

Westcott said his other non-mountain bike events — the Imperial Challenge winter triathlon, Five Peaks ski mountaineering race and Breck Crest trail run — will remain with Maverick Sports Promotions for now.

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