The 11-mile run, which included swims through ice-cold water, climbs under barbed wire and dashes among electrified wires, put Diablo Grande and the Patterson area in general on the map for many attendees, a large portion of whom were from the Bay Area.
Kudos should go to Diablo Grande representatives and Tough Mudder officials for taking a chance on the West Side.
Despite some morning traffic delays early Saturday, organizers eventually figured out how to streamline traffic, and the event generally seemed well organized. Many folks who had attended other Tough Mudder obstacle course runs compared the Diablo Grande event favorably to others.
The event was a major coup for the developing community in the hills southwest of Patterson, which has had its share of challenges in recent years, including the bankruptcy of its former parent company, past water woes and homeowners association battles.
Carmen Millan, chief financial officer for parent company World International, said this week that about 3,000 people took brochures about Diablo Grande, and Tough Mudder participants had booked a wedding and a golf tournament there by the time the weekend ended.
The event was a success not only for Diablo Grande but also for the West Side as a whole. Hotels in both Patterson and Westley were completely booked through the weekend, and many Patterson restaurants were slammed with customers Saturday. Several local businesses also were involved in providing goods and services for the event.
It’s encouraging to see that the West Side can successfully host large-scale events, and we hope for more to come.
Other recent celebrations also have showcased the West Side’s potential as a tourist attraction. Those include the Sept. 15 Fiestas Patrias, which brought several famous Latino bands and musicians to downtown Patterson, and a Sept. 22 concert at River Oak Arena featuring classic norteño-style Mexican accordion player Ramon Ayala.
This region has bountiful natural resources, with the Diablo hills to the west and the San Joaquin River to the east. Diablo Grande’s beautiful golf course also is a valuable venue, as many Tough Mudder participants learned during the weekend.
Most importantly, this region has amazing human resources with original ideas. If entrepreneurs could regularly team up with businesses, community organizations and local leaders to promote the region’s tourism potential, the possibilities for the West Side could be endless.
Kudos to all who were involved in the local Tough Mudder for a job well done and for reminding us of the amazing assets we have in our backyard.