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Business owners share Amgen experiences

Stimulus for community will come later, one says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn business owners had mixed experiences with the Amgen Tour of California, but many say the race should be good for the community in the long run. Carol “Bunny” Isaacson, owner of Depoe Bay Coffee Co., said before the race began the shop did a quarter or half times more business than normal, and the riders were enjoyable to be around. “A slew of them came in,” Isaacson said. “They really were some of the nicest groups for a rush, and polite. And their whole attitude and demeanor was wonderful. A lot of them were from Europe, and they ordered a lot of cappuccinos and espressos, but they were very humble about it. They weren’t pushing us at all.” Isaacson said the shop’s employees only knew about 10 percent of the customers that came in Tuesday morning, and the last rider came in right before the race started. “He goes, ‘Oh, I’m in a bit of a hurry. My race is about to begin,’” she said. “He was so polite. He was getting a cappuccino, so we got it for him right away.” Dan Tebbs, owner of Victory Velo Bike Shop, said he was impressed with race day. “It was amazing as far as a cycling fan goes, having that sort of parade or circus atmosphere. It’s nice having it be that accessible, where you can walk up to (cyclists) and meet them,” Tebbs said. Tebbs said he thinks the event will help Auburn business in the future. “We had a lot of traffic,” he said. “And we have had a lot of traffic in the last week. (There was) a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz. A lot of people came from out of town and out of state. They got introduced to Auburn, and now it’s in their minds. Hopefully they might return.” Harvey Roper, owner of Roper’s Jewelers, said the stage start was a great way to get the word out about the city. “First of all, from a business standpoint, the business stimulus will come at a later date,” Roper said. “This was a chance to market Auburn around the world. This was a chance for people to see Auburn as a destination.” Roper said he was one of the videographers shooting the race. “We have all the best shots of Auburn covered for use for the promotion of Auburn,” he said. “It went together so smoothly. It was amazing. It was just a professional effort of everybody on the Bike Auburn team. Everybody’s fulfilled their obligations and succeeded them, and it’s all for Auburn.” Angela Leonard, who works at Marilyn’s Fashion-a-tions, said the major traffic congestion she was expecting didn’t exist. “It wasn’t like you would expect it to be,” Leonard said. “I was worried about it for weeks, because I didn’t know where I was going to park. Overall I would say the race was very well organized. I know the riders were friendly. It’s just too bad the weather didn’t turn out for them.” Adele Wise, owner of Wildflower, located next to the race’s start in Central Square, said there was no boost in business at her store, but she thought the weather might have been a contributing factor to that. Wise also said she thought people who attend bicycle races don’t necessarily come out to shop. Wise said she enjoyed watching the race. “It was very exciting, it really was,” she said. “We had a really good time watching the whole thing. We actually took our little step stools outside and stood on them so we would have a better view.” Lisa Swisley, owner of Tango Frozen Yogurt and Local Heroes, said the street closures and weather hurt her business, but she still enjoyed the day. “But like I said, I wouldn’t change it,” Swisley said. “I would still have us do it again. It was amazing.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------- Business storefront decorating contest winner Bike Auburn awarded Whistle Stop Junk Shop on Nevada Street with the best business storefront display celebrating Auburn’s Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 start. Paul Kashuba and his wife, Mary, the shop’s owners, won two tickets to the Vino Velo Gala at the Winchester Country Club. “We went to the country club … my wife and I, and it was a really nice place, nice view and all the restaurants had good little treats for everybody,” Paul Kashuba said. “My wife really likes wine. She did some serious tasting, and I ate. There was a nice little display of old bicycles there. Actually one of them I had found at a yard sale and sold to a bicycle rider, and he had it there all restored.” Paul Kashuba said he was glad to win the award. “I was happy,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to win, but I thought I had a good chance.”