Cities, towns foresee windfall in bike race |

Cities, towns foresee windfall in bike race

Jason Blevins
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photo

DENVER – The peloton can pass in a blink, but the dozen host cities of the second USA Pro Challenge – beginning Monday in Durango – are working to extend the party and financial rewards well beyond the race-day flash.

All those televisions flickering with images of happy spectators lining historic main streets will plant seeds in more than 160 countries. Custom-made television commercials airing during NBC’s 31 hours of coverage will promote each community and water those seeds.

And long after the hotels empty and the banners fall, each of the 12 hosts of the week-long race expects to harvest a bumper crop of new visitors to feed their tourist-dependent economies.

“We are looking long term,” said Andrew Shoemaker, who served on the organizing committee that assembled the penultimate stage finishing atop Boulder’s Flagstaff Mountain. “If someone visits, hopefully they will share their experience and it becomes something that blossoms over the years.”

With crowd estimates swinging from, say, 30,000 to 60,000 or more at each stop (not to mention many more along roads and an expected quarter million watching the final day in Denver), organizers, especially the newcomers, are bracing for bountiful crowds. …

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