WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Downtown Wichita Falls will soon be full of cyclists.
Hotels are packed, so what are some alternatives for cyclists to rest before Saturday’s big ride?
On 9th Street, the YMCA is opening its doors for cyclists to camp out.
“We’re still taking people to come in they are first come, first serve,” YMCA of Wichita Falls Downtown Associate Executive Director Deon McNair said. “So if they want a spot, tell them to come on in. We will welcome them. We’re hoping to take 150 or more, right now we are about 80, 85 people.”
The Y will use various rooms in the building and provide a continental breakfast.
“We have our racquet ballrooms, our protho room, our memorial hall,” McNair said. “We have those areas where they will be able to sleep. Everything is kind of marked, and we’ll have someone who can show them around the building to kind of say, hey, this is where we can sleep, because we have done a lot of upgrading around the building. So now a lot of areas [they] used to sleep in, they won’t be able to sleep in anymore.”
Along Seymour Highway, the Wichita Falls RV Park is at full capacity and a waiting list has started.
“The majority of them will start coming in Thursday or Friday,” Wichita Falls RV Park Office Manager Robin Bledsoe said. “A lot of them have been returned guests. They’ve been coming for years.”
After suffering damage from the strong wind storm two weeks ago, workers said they knew they had a quick turnaround to get power lines and broken trees removed for travelers.
“We just felt like we had a commitment to the people that have worked hard at their homes and that have been practicing all year long,” Wichita Falls RV Park Owner Dee Barnes said. “There’s nowhere else really to go and this is their home when they do Hotter’N Hell, and we wanted to have it ready when they got here.”
With debris cleared and power lines up, Barnes is welcoming people to continue the friendships she has built over the last 30 years.
“There’s a number of them that come every year that have their special sites and half that we’ve known for 34 years that have done this,” Barnes said. “So we’ve got some relationships and bonds that are really, really special.”
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