Longmont group: City should host bike race
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a privately funded, seven-day cycling race, which in August generated $99.6 million in spending across Colorado, according to organizers. Boulder hosted the finish of a stage of the race this year. The city saw a boost in total sales- and use-tax revenues for August of $803,603 more than it had collected in August 2011, an 8.3 percent increase.
Enthusiast group Bicycle Longmont, various breweries and a Visit Longmont representative have formed a committee to file an application to race organizers to host a piece of next year's race, said Joe Ward, executive director of Visit Longmont, the business tourism group. The application deadline is Nov. 16.
"It's a difficult economy right now, so anything we can do to support the city and bring additional tax revenue in is great," said Ryan Kragerud, president of Bicycle Longmont.
While no official sponsorships have been formed yet, Kragerud said he reached out to Oskar Blues Brewery LLC and Left Hand Brewery Co. in Longmont and Bootstrap Brewing Co. in Niwot to discuss how the breweries might be involved. Oskar Blues is building a new restaurant, bar and bicycle shop in the Meadow View Shopping Center in southwest Longmont where Bicycle Longmont will have an office. Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis started Reeb Cycles in 2011, a custom-made bicycle company, and the bicycles will be made at the new location.
Sponsoring a stage of the race can cost $50,000 and up, depending on what is involved for the host city, according to information from various communities involved in this year's race. At a meeting Tuesday, the Longmont City Council expressed informal support for a stage finish, Kragerud said.
Race organizer Medalist Sports LLC, based in Peachtree, Georgia, decides the race course route after receiving applications from host cities.
The Longmont committee plans to return to the city council in the near future with specific cost information, Ward said. The group also wants to get the rest of the business community involved in potential race sponsorships, he said.
"Obviously, Boulder had an extremely successful stage," Ward said. "These races can be about economic development and to show off your community and your area of the country."
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