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Cycling race gives Colorado economy a $99 million boost

2012 USA Pro Challenge once again draws more than 1 million fans

USA Pro Cycling racers ride a warmup lap on Park Avenue in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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

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Colorado: Pro cycling race gets $10 million boost

Final mountain stage of Quiznos Pro Challenge to finish on Main Street, Breckenridge; local organizers gearing up for all-out volunteer effort

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Quiznos Pro Challenge cycling race got a big financial boost last week, as co-chairman Rick Schaden announced the investment of an initial $10 million to support the growth of Colorado’s international pro-cycling competition.

The seven-day, 600 mile race (Aug. 22 – 28) features a Tour de France-level field of cyclists that will sprint to a finish on Main Street in Breckenridge in the final mountain stage of a race that will be the biggest cycling event in the state since the glory days of the Coors Classic.

“This investment further demonstrates our commitment to the future of the Quiznos Pro Challenge,” said Schaden.  “Showing financial stability demonstrates the event’s ability for longevity in the international sports arena for many years to come.” Continue reading

Keystone: Blues, art – and cycling for a cause

Keystone's 6th annual Blues Festival and Art Show will offer good times for young and old. Riding the buffalo in one of River Run's cozy courtyards is always a favorite diversion.

Century rides and hot Blues bands complement a treasury of fine art this weekend at Keystone’s River Run Village

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Another free festival is coming to the Colorado Rockies courtesy of Keystone Resort, where the Blues and fine art take center stage Aug. 21-22 at the 6th annual Blues Festival and Art Show at River Run Village.

The weekend also features the Blue River Century Ride (Aug. 22) for cyclists  with three different finish options, including Loveland Pass (11,990 feet), Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and the funky mountain town of Montezuma.

A “metric century” 100-Kilometer race is another option, will all the fund-raising rides starting 7 a.m. at Keystone’s River Run Village. The Blue River Century Ride is billed as an event to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and cyclists can choose from three different charities: The Lance Armstrong Foundation, The Roundup River Ranch or the Marc Jr.’s Foundation. The Blue River Century claims to be one of the first cycling events to focus on a zero-waste goal. Last year’s event was able to divert more than 90 percent of its waste from the landfill. More info here. Continue reading

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