When the Collegiate Road National Championship came to Richmond last year, Genni Sasnett heard a rumor she considered horrifying.
“During the college races,” the Church Hill resident says, “some people drove to D.C. for dinner because they didn’t know where to eat in Richmond.”
Richmond, of course, prides itself on its dining scene. The thought that it wasn’t getting the recognition it deserved from city guests didn’t sit well.
The collegiate championships served as a test run for September’s UCI Road World Championships, where organizers predict 450,000 spectators in a nine-day stretch. During the big event, mishaps such as a drive to Washington for dinner shall be averted at all costs — at least if the Church Hill Neighborhood Association has anything to say about it.
For the part of the race that snakes through the neighborhood and its Libby Hill Park, Sasnett and her fellow residents are vowing to make sure visitors are well aware of the neighborhood’s amenities. They plan to dispatch roaming concierges to answer questions and set up informational booths at key locations.
The neighborhood association is also trying to prepare for the gridlock the race will bring. Leaders carefully are watching planned street closures and parking restrictions and are exploring providing a shuttle service.
They also plan to spruce up the neighborhood as much as possible — both physically and digitally. They intend to achieve the former through a block-by-block cleanup and the latter by improving and expanding the neighborhood’s Wikipedia page for visitors seeking historical information.