Aaron Hautala presents at EUROBIKE in Germany

Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (Crew), a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), recently presented at the 25th annual EUROBIKE international bicycling tradeshow in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Touted as the “global summit meeting of the bike industry,” the five-day EUROBIKE summit attracted 42,720 bicycling industry enthusiasts from 106 countries, 1,350 exhibitors from more than 50 countries, and 1,766 journalists from 41 countries. An additional 34,400 bike fans participated in the festival days that capped the event.

Hautala presented a Travel Talk segment, “Mountain Bicycling in Cuyuna: How Americans Successfully Handle Obstacles.” The Travel Talk sessions covered aspects of bicycle tourism’s trends and opportunities, with speakers and bike-insiders providing insights into the current bicycling industry. Hautala also participated in a panel discussion with bicycling representatives from Morocco, Italy, and Switzerland.

“We were delighted to win Aaron Hautala as a speaker for Travel Talk 2016,” said Leopold Brötzmann, from Berlin, organizer of the sessions. “In his presentation he showed the American way of developing a destination from scratch using exciting examples. At the same time, all international representatives agreed that passion and openness to dialogue are fundamental for a successful destination.”

Theo Jorna, owner of Holcus Buiten BV / Hicle—a company that puts on the largest cycling holiday travel fairs in Europe—had recommended Hautala’s Cuyuna message to the EUROBIKE organizers due to their connections at IMBA.

“When I spoke at EUROBIKE, I started with Cuyuna’s industrial heritage—where we came from and then led to where we are today,” said Hautala. “The before-and-after photos especially caught everyone’s attention. I focused on the community’s can-do-spirit of facing insurmountable odds and always striving for absolute excellence with a high focus on experience-based outdoor recreation.”

In his talk, Hautala attributed the success of the Cuyuna-area story to the perseverance of members of the communities, to the volunteers within many different organizations, to the MN Department of Natural Resources, and others too numerous to mention.

“We set out to make safe family cycling trails so people of all ages can enjoy and experience the outdoors,” said Hautala. “The excitement of mountain bicycling delivers a reason to put down the iPhone and be active outside.”

In November, Hautala will bring Cuyuna’s mountain bike tourism story to St. Petersburg, Florida, with a keynote address on Cyclenomics.

“We’ll purposefully continue spreading the news that Cuyuna’s success is built around the entire region working together to fulfill a common vision to be an international, year-round, family cycling destination,” said Hautala. “It was an honor to tell our story at EUROBIKE, but it’s only because our region has worked together, to accomplish what many called ‘impossible goals,’ that we have a story to tell.”

As owner and creative director of RedHouseMedia, Hautala frequently speaks on the topics of communication, identity, and creative strategy at conferences for varying industries around the country.

For more information on the latest trail expansion projects in Cuyuna, or to join the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, visit www.ForCuyuna.com

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