We’ve always looked sideways at the absurd claims made by tourism bureaucrats that the USA Pro Cycling Challenge attracted a million spectators to Colorado each year. Even if they counted people who were tied up in traffic because of closed roads, the number wouldn’t come anywhere close.
Now a year has passed since the defunct bike race last shut down Colorado streets and we have some interesting data about the economic impact of the race and all of these spectators: none of it mattered. At all.
In fact, 2016 tax receipts were up in mountain towns now that the bicycle race is gone. Aspen, Steamboat, and Breckenridge all saw increased tax collections in August, a year after the race shut down their towns for a few hours.
So it turns out it was all spin by PR hacks and the the state’s tourism office, who bragged about how “amped” that Coloradans were to have this bike race – so “amped” that the race went out of business and failed to deliver any tax boost to the communities it impacted.
And we wonder if Governor Hickenlooper still wants to burn $100 million of our dollars to make Colorado – a state where you cannot ride a bike outside for almost half the year, the “best biking state.”
Of course, Hickenlooper is perpetuating the lie that this will “fuel economic growth and tourism.” Looking at 2016 tax receipts, it is apparent that the only economic growth that the bike race fueled was with his buddies at OnSight Public Affairs and the so-called “tourism officials” who helped him promulgate this hoax.
So out of touch are these tourism bureaucrats that one of them commented to in an Aspen Times article “the fact that visitation and sales tax revenues continued to climb without the race this August proves the strategy [of hosting the race] worked.”
Sorry, but what planet is she living on where she thinks that a tourist will come to Aspen this year based on a bike race that happened there last year?