USA Pro Cycling Challenge brings $130 million to Colorado, says study

· Oct. 28, 2014, 3:07 pm
Photo: USA Pro Challenge in Golden
Riders are cheered on as they pass through Golden, Colo., during the seventh and final stage of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge bike race Sunday Aug. 24, 2014. The 78-mile seventh stage finished up with several laps around downtown Denver. 

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge generated $130 million for the state this year, according to a study commissioned by the race's organizers.

A release from Rogers and Cowen, representing the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, claims that the study by Sponsorship Science controlled for local fan spending and people who traveled to Colorado for reasons unrelated to the race.

Fans from more than 50 miles away spent 12 percent more in 2014 on their food, transportation, entertainment and especially their hotels, said the study. 

According to the release, those traveling fans stayed for 10 percent longer on average in their accommodations. To do that, they spent an average of 11 percent more per night and stayed for an average of 5.3 nights.

This year, the race route included went through Aspen, Crested Butte and Gunnison in the first several days. The race continued to Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Vail before finishing in Denver. 

Wanda Bearth, general manager at Crested Butte Lodging and Property Management, said Tuesday that 2014 was their busiest year for challenge-related reservations. She added that, "The number of reservations that we can directly attribute to the Pro Challenge is pretty small. My best estimate would be that we had somewhere in the neighborhood of half a dozen to a dozen."

"We love the Pro Challenge," Bearth says. "It's a perfect fit for our biking town."

Bearth also noted that the race solicited "thousands of dollars" and volunteers to help market the event.

More than half of spectators, 56 percent, said if not for the race, they would not have traveled to Colorado at the time. And 70.9 percent told the researchers "they are likely to return to watch the race next year," according to the study.

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