May 14, 2013 1:19 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
On Thursday, California's version of the Tour de France is expected to draw large crowds to Avila Beach. Some business owners in the area said they are thrilled about it, and others, not so much.
Michael Kidd, owner of Joe Momma's Coffee, said the 100-some professional bicyclists and estimated 7,000 spectators will bring traffic and a headache. The county plans on closing many roads, and normal parking spots along Front Street will not be available. Kidd said there is no way for his employees to come into work on Thursday safely, so he's decided to close his coffee shop that day.
"Avila is this local resource, this incredible resource for people from Santa Maria to Paso Robles. This is their favorite beach because it has better weather and it's nicer. All those things. That's what Avila's about. It's not about having a made for TV event- essentially what we are," said Kidd.
Kidd also posted a sign on his business that said, "NO COFFEE FOR YOU, SILLY OUT TOWN RICH PEOPLE IN SPANDEX DON'T COME BACK!". On Monday, Kidd has since taken that sign down, and replaced it with a new one.
Bill Price, the owner of neighboring business Hula Hut, said he doesn't understand Kidd's disappointment in the Amgen Tour stopping in their town.
"I don't understand why a person that has businesses, a couple of hotels and another business in town, wouldn't want people to know about Avila Beach. They are potentially future customers. So why would you want to make them unhappy, you know, put a bad taste about Avila Beach? Avila beach is a positive place," said Price.
Price said he and his employees are ecstatic about the race. He said he doesn't suspect he'll ever make it to France to see the Tour de France, so to have a bike race of Amgen's magnitude right at this front door, he said it's pretty amazing.
Kidd told KSBY that he didn't mean to insult or offend anyone with the original sign, and he did note that he loves the local bike community, and is the largest supporter of the Bob Jones Trail.
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