Breckenridge to bid for USA Pro Challenge in 2013
September 19, 2012
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Breckenridge is again looking to host a start or finish in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, town officials confirmed Tuesday.
The town is 2-0 in the bidding process to become a host city for the 600-plus-mile bike race, after winning a race stage finish in 2011 and a start in August.
“It’s a great event, we want to be a part of it,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said. “We’ll probably put in a bid every year.”
But Breckenridge might not be the only Summit County entity bidding to host the race in 2013.
Copper Mountain has approached Frisco about putting together a joint proposal for a start or a finish as well, according to officials.
“Copper is an ideal location for cycling events, and would be excited to participate in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge,” said Copper spokeswoman Austyn Williams.
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Frisco officials said they have not considering submitting a bid.
“We haven’t thought about it,” Frisco Councilman Kent Willis said. “That’s all it is, is that somebody is asking the question of us. I think there’re a lot of questions that need to be analyzed.”
It is unclear whether Dillon or Silverthorne might consider making bids as well.
Race organizers change up the route every year to keep things interesting and fresh for riders and spectators, but local officials say almost any route is likely to pass through centrally located Summit County.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about how, no matter where the race goes, Summit County is likely to be a place the race will go through,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “As long as it’s going through, we’d like to be a venue for a start or a finish.”
But, for local towns, becoming a host city can represent a significant financial commitment.
Breckenridge agreed to put up to $150,000 each year into the event, while a volunteer local organizing committee dedicated time raising an additional $40,000 in sponsorships and developing supplementary festivities around the stage stops.
“There were … concerns about what kind of costs are involved,” Steigelmeier said. “Breckenridge has been the one town that stepped right up and wanted to take the lead, and has also been willing to put out what it takes to put on pre-events and post-events.”
Having hosted both, Breckenridge businesses said they preferred the stage finish to the start, reporting it gave the town better exposure in the media and in terms of drawing spectators.
Breckenridge officials say having hosted the race before could give the town an edge in the 2013 bidding process.
“They have all sorts of formulas and equations they do when they put a route together,” Dykstra-DiLallo said. “I do think it gives us an advantage over some of the other communities they haven’t worked with before. They really have to look at what’s going to keep an event successful overall.”
Breckenridge approaches the race as a long-term effort to promote the town as a bicycle-friendly community and biking destination, rather than looking for an immediate return on investment, Dykstra-DiLallo said.
This year the race route covered 683 miles, crossed nine mountain passes and rolled through 12 cities across the state, starting in Durango and passing through Aspen and Breckenridge to the final finish in Denver.