Friday and Saturday, Boise is playing host to the X Games Qualifier at Rhodes Skate Park. What are the X Games and what does it mean for the city?
The X-Games feature relatively new sports, sometimes called “extreme sports,” including skateboarding and BMX biking. The competition began Friday afternoon, as some Boise streets west of downtown were closed.
Carrie Westergard, who leads the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, says it was the city’s creation of the ramps and jumps at Rhodes Park that attracted this major televised event. "The city of Boise," she says, "has really done a phenomenal job constructing a world-class venue that ESPN and the X Games wanted to do something at."
Laughing, Westergard has gotten used to explaining the X Games, saying, "Well, unless you’ve tuned into it on television, you’ve probably never seen anything like this, especially in person. It will definitely be a lively crowd. It will be fun to watch the tricks and the things that these athletes can perform."
To Westergard it also means “heads in beds” for the hotel industry, especially on the weekends, when Boise can be a little light. "We have a strong business climate here Sunday through Thursday," she explains. "One of our missions, for the next few years, is for us to really help fill those hotel rooms on the weekend, as well. So an event like this really helps move that needle."
The top athletes in this qualifying round will advance to the championship X Games in Minneapolis, Minn., in mid-July.
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