2012 USA Pro Challenge once again draws more than 1 million fans
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Despite the dark shadow cast by Lance Armstrong, cycling remains an extremely popular spectator sport, with this past summer’s edition of the USA Pro Challenge once again drawing more than 1 million viewers, according to race organizers.
Almost incredibly, race organizers this week sent out a press release on the race that didn’t include a single mention of Armstrong, who helped found the race, or the fact that the winners of the first two editions of the race, Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vande Velde are inextricably linked with the Lance Armstrong story.
Instead, the press release focused on the economic benefits of the race, estimating that it generated a $99.6 million economic impact on the state, as visitors flocked to towns along the route, spending money on lodging and in local restaurants.
Fans from outside the state and Coloradans traveling 50 miles or more to take in an event stage contributed $81.5 million on lodging, food, transportation and entertainment. The remaining economic impact comes in the form of team, staff, sponsor and vendor spending, employment created by the event, and the resulting tax effects of the race. Continue reading