Snowmass Village leaders remain wary that the USA Pro Challenge will provide the town enough exposure to justify providing financial support for the bicycle race.
The event’s first stage starts on Aug. 18 and runs through both Aspen and Snowmass using a similar route to last year’s. The Local Organizing Committee is asking Snowmass Village to contribute approximately $85,000, about one quarter of the upper valley’s overall investment in the race. Separately, Snowmass Tourism and the Aspen Chamber and Resort Association also will each contribute $25,000 to a joint marketing effort.
At Thursday’s Special Events and Group Sales Board meeting, Group Sales Director Fred Brodsky said Local Organizing Committee Chairwoman Nancy Lesley had not provided data that Brodsky and the board requested in February, such as specifics about television coverage in foreign countries. The Pro Challenge also didn’t give an answer and hasn’t disclosed that to other municipalities, said Snowmass Tourism Marketing Director Beth Albert.
“I am not certain that that information exists, to be quite honest,” Albert said.
Another question Albert raised regarded the marketing commitment. Last year, $15,000 was used for public-service information such as street-closure signs and town meetings, according to Albert and Brodsky. Albert said it was unclear whether that expense would be included in the marketing budget again this year, so she wasn’t sure how much money the town could spend on destination marketing.
Board member Hugh Templeman offered to help.
“I will ring and create havoc,” Templeman said. “I am a massive supporter of this, but I am not going to support something that we can’t justify.”
Board member Scott Calliham added that he wanted assurance that Snowmass would get equal exposure with Aspen.
“I don’t have any assurance that it’s going to be any different this year,” Calliham said.
The board agreed to continue pressing Lesley and the Pro Challenge organizers for answers in the hopes of being able to commit the funding before May 1.
“If it were me, I’d go spill my plan for 50 grand (for marketing) and tell them sod the 15 grand, because they didn’t give me the clarification so I’m gonna use it the way I’m going to,” Templeman said.