New Ankeny hotels focus on bike tourism from High Trestle Trail
Two new hotels in Ankeny aim to take advantage of bicycle tourism from the High Trestle Trail.
Driving the news: Staybridge Suites is scheduled to open adjacent to the trail this fall, while a nearby Holiday Inn Express opened last year.
- The hotels, which offer 107 rooms and 94 rooms respectively, are both near the new High Trestle Trail overpass over Oralabor Road and off SE Hulsizer Drive.
Why it matters: The 25-mile High Trestle Trail route goes from Ankeny to Woodward and features one of the longest trail bridges in the world.
- The hotels are a part of Ankeny officials' plans to leverage the trail and attract cyclists to the city.
Zoom in: For years, it was difficult for cyclists staying in Ankeny to connect with the trail from a hotel. Lodging options were on the east side of the interstate while the trail was on the west side, Derek Lord, Ankeny's economic development director, tells Axios.
- The new hotels on the west side of I-35 will make it easier for visitors to hop on their bikes and ride.
By the numbers: : In 2019, the city of Ankeny conducted a study showing that 250,000 people visit the High Trestle Trail bridge annually and around 18% of them are from out of state.
- Surveys of trail users also showed that out of 200 people riding the trail, 10% of them stayed overnight at a hotel, while 90% said the trail was an important part of their decision to stay in Ankeny.
The big picture: There's big money in being a bicycle destination, Lord says. City officials estimate overnight visitors spend about $242 a day in Ankeny and on the trail.
What's next: Officials are currently discussing adding more amenities to the Ankeny side of the trail which would serve as a "bookend" to the bridge at the north end.
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