I vote for bringing back the gravel loop. I liked the small pass-through town without such a huge crowd. Regular road wheels work fine but I recommend tubeless tires which do eliminate pinch flats.
I too feel that some gravel on the route is appropriate … but it should be a part of the route, not an optional loop.
I’d also like to see a return to the original concept of one day being a pure century without the need for loops to make the additional mileage. If we could do it back in the 1970s and early 1980s on steel-framed Schwinns and imported bikes like the early Fujis, Peugeots, and Raleighs with five speed clusters, friction shifting, 27×1¼ tires, and center-pull brakes that were barely a step up from dragging ones feet, it should be a piece of cake for anyone who has one of today’s bikes with the ‘improvements’ like electric shifting, disc brakes, ultra-thin/puncture-resistant tires, and frames and components made from titanium, aluminum, unobtanium, and carbon fiber.