Colorado Towns Measure Impact of Bike Race

Not a ton of detail in this article and I belive alot of the data is still to come but it looks like the impact of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is not has big as predicted.

Colorado Towns Measure Impact of Bike Race

Denver Business Journal
Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 7:04am MDT

Towns along the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge are glad for the publicity being part of the course generated, but the economic impact varied, according to news reports.

The professional bike race didn’t bring in the 20,000 visitors Aspen was expecting, the Aspen Times reports, but restaurants saw a slight increase in business after the race’s stop in Aspen on Wednesday.

Restaurants were jammed in Breckenridge and retailers reported a big bump in sales, the Summit Daily News reports. More than 50,000 people lined the route as the race went through Breckenridge.

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2 Comments

Economic Impact

Andy Bohlmann, Sand Creek Sports in Colorado Springs here.

The Visitor's and Convention Bureau here in Colorado Springs has a dollar amount per person they use to calculate economic impact here. That amount is $136/person/day.

Using that figure, my 2009 Pro XCT race here generated about a $150,000 impact and my 2010 Pro XCT was about $250,000. My 2010 ACA Senior Road race Championship at the AFA had no dollar impact.

The Prologue for the race, "Formally Known as Whatever..." and referred to by Phil Liggett and Bob Roll at the opening dinner here in Colorado Sp as the, "Tour of Colorado" had between 6,000 and "150,000" people watching it on the streets. That 6,000 number came from a person who wrote to the Gazette Online with his usual USOC complaints and that "150,000" figure was reported by a local TV station using race organizer numbers. The real number was closer to 12,000 according to several reliable media types. The City does not do crowd estimates.

Several other Visitor Bureau types are also saying race organizer estimates are way too high!

FYI, I have several economic impact studies of races and cycling on my www.tourofcolorado.com site in the "Links and Articles" page.

Durango, Fort Collins, Salida and Steamboat all have multi-day races and have a significant eonomic impact as a results. Boulder has only Chris Grealish's UCI cross race.

Cities are very aware of what events do in terms of dollars for the community and so are a very few race organizers.

Aspen

Aspen could have/should have done a better job promoting and offering incentives (VIPish type party for the common man) and package deals to stay the night there. Perhaps it's a bit of aloof snobbery getting in their own way thinking that people would just automatically just want "Be in Aspen" because it's Aspen of course. Duh, this is marketing 101; it is the common man coming out in droves to watch a free, professional event, with athletes from around the globe (thus the crowd numbers), not the rich and famous looking for a pampered, elite experience. You have to cater to your crowd.

It seems most people, myself included, watched the race that day from atop Independence Pass vs the finish line in Aspen b/c that was the biggest bang for the buck as a spectator (both the crowd atmosphere and the speed at which they went by was less than a blur) vs the finish line. Most on the pass also probably drove or rode up the pass from the East vs the Aspen side. Those who rode their bicycle, if they had a shuttle and/or an incentive priced package, I'm sure would have gladly ridden over the pass after the last racer to experience the descent for themselves, have a fun dinner and stay the night if the price was reasonable. Even better for Aspen, they might stay the night before in Aspen and ride the pass from the West side if the incentive were there. The campgrounds on the Aspen side being reserved well in advance speak volumes and more/less make my point.

Stop whining and think outside of your proverbial small box Aspen as to how the rest of the world lives and you'll start to see the numbers go up dramatically. Who wouldn’t want to stay in Aspen if the price were right. Even Vail does a better job of this. Get creative with some marketing, overnight dinner or post-event party incentive packages and stop taking the retail approach and I'm sure you'll be pulling them in hand over fist next year. I'll come and even bring my family if you give me a good reason!