Tour of Utah cycling race cancels 2021 event due to lingering virus concerns
The Park Record
PARK CITY, Utah — The organizers of the Tour of Utah cycling race, one of the largest events on the summertime tourism calendar in Park City, have canceled the event in 2021 out of concern for the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, the second consecutive year the event has been canceled based on worries about the pandemic.
In a statement, the chair of the tour, Steve Miller, said the organizers want the event to return in 2022.
“Due to the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge are postponed in 2021. We continue to plan for resuming these events in 2022,” Miller said.
The Tour of Utah, a stage race, covers a wide swath of northern Utah. Park City, though, has served as the finish line of the final stage. The race has drawn large crowds to Park City for the last day of the race, as spectators watch the cyclists leave Main St. at the start of the last stage and then return to the street later that day for the finish.
The event’s final day is typically timed for early August. In the past, the Tour of Utah stage in Park City has been scheduled within a short time of the Park City Kimball Art Festival, creating an especially busy stretch for the tourism industry.
The organizers in April of 2020 canceled that year’s edition of the Tour of Utah during the initial months of the pandemic. The cancellation was one of the early signals that the economic impacts of the coronavirus would stretch well into the summer after an early end to the 2019-2020 ski season.
The cancellation of the Tour of Utah in 2021 is more evidence that the economic impacts of the virus will last well into this year. The information from the race organizers follows several weeks after the Savor the Summit dining event on Main St. was canceled for 2021. It had been planned in June.
The state of the spread of the virus in the summer is the key unknown for event organizers. It is difficult to predict if there will be any restrictions on crowd sizes at the time the events are held later in 2021, as an example.
An event like the Tour of Utah, covering jurisdictions across a wide swath of the region, requires an especially involved planning and approval process. Organizers said the event in 2019 drew 400,000 spectators throughout the course.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard on Tuesday announced the final U.S. World Cup schedule, a lineup that includes the Aspen World Cup from March 3 to 5 on Aspen Mountain. Those races will include a men’s super-G and two men’s downhills.