OGDEN -- As Ogden continues its effort to become the cycling capital of the United States, the city and the state are partnering to show Asia's top bike manufacturers that "this is the place."
Beginning Tuesday, Ogden city, the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah will host "A Scenic Tour of Utah" -- a 400-mile bike ride designed to showcase Ogden, Weber County and Utah in general, to a mix of Asia's bicycle industry leaders and media.
The weeklong ride begins in Ogden, as the cyclists will travel from the city to Snowbasin through Ogden Canyon. From there, the riders will go from Mountain Green in Morgan County to Salt Lake City; Park City to Sundance Mountain Resort; Fish Lake in Richfield to the Capital Reef National Park; Boulder city to Bryce National Park; Brian Head to Zion National Park; and finally to Las Vegas for the Interbike International Bicycle Expo.
Riders will travel by bus to get to several locations along the route.
"They are going to be able to see basically the entire state," said Ogden City Business Development Director Steve Fishburn. "From the alpine environment in the north, to some of the unbelievable scenery you can see in the south."
The tour was inspired by Fishburn and Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell's recent trip to Taiwan, where, along with representatives from GOED and EDCU, the pair worked to enlighten Taiwanese bicycle manufacturers on the benefits of setting up shop in Ogden.
While in Taiwan, the group got a close-up look at the country's cycling industry, visiting several manufacturing facilities in Taichung. The group also took in the Taipei International Cycle Show.
Caldwell said the city's aim is to turn Ogden into a North American cycling cluster, bringing an interconnected concentration of cycling businesses to the city -- similar to the thriving Northern Utah aerospace industry.
Ogden already has several flourishing cycling companies located within the city, including Tektro USA, Quality Bicycle Products, Scott Sports, ENVE Composites and Amer Sports.
Caldwell said the cycling industry figures to have a major impact on Ogden's economy and that the jobs typically seen in the cycling industry are higher-paid engineering, sales and marketing jobs.
For the Scenic Tour of Utah, high-ranking officials from at least 15 Asia-based cycling companies will join the ride.
Kevict Yen, media coordinator for the tour, said invited attendees have been carefully selected for their role in Asia's bicycle industry.
Yen said the companies represented are leaders in their product segment and most have the distinction of being some of the largest bicycle-industry manufacturers in the world.
Fishburn said the tour is a major opportunity to grow Ogden's cycling industry, but also to promote the area as a tourist attraction.
"This is a chance to show a group of influential people Ogden, Weber County and all of these great, natural wonders that are Utah," Fishburn said. "A lot of these people and their friends are looking for unique traveling opportunities, and we have that here."
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.