After 2 years in a row with a presence in Nevada City, the Amgen tour of California, the premiere cycling race in America, will not ride through Nevada County in 2012. Tour officials have decided to return to Santa Rosa Sunday May 13th, home of three-time Amgen Tour of California Champion Levi Leipheimer. The economic impact to our area hosting a stage of the race has been estimated at 2 to 3 million dollars in hard money income such as hotels, gas stations and restaurants and another 2 to 3 million in free marketing and advertising of our community. Dwayne Strauser, owner of Tour of Nevada City Bicycle shop and local tour organizer, says those numbers are not far off.
“Initially, we thought that was quite high, but after the first year, within a month, we had people coming in either sending us or mailing us, e-mailing us, stopping by with copies of the New York Times. We are featured in copies of the major paper over in Germany at the German airport. They just happened to be traveling and found us on the front page in Germany, over in Europe or South America, so things like that. We definitely found out that we had worldwide coverage, so I guess it’s not that far off.”
Strawser says we also did not bid on our stage of the race as Santa Rosa did with a bid of $580 thousand dollars. Strawser said our expenses to host a stage were minimal.
“We had to pay less than 10% of what Santa Rosa did in hard costs, cash costs. Every bit of that, except for in kind police closure, the three police departments, county and cities, pitched in probably about $3,000 in value of their labor, their manpower. Other than that, nothing was spent from the public. Everything was raised through corporate sponsorship.”
Strawser says he is in Talks with Amgen officials to host again next year. This year’s race will take the riders from San Francisco to Santa Cruz County for Stage 2, starting with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop and once again bringing the route back along the picturesque coast of the Pacific Ocean. The tour continues south, ending in Los Angeles Sunday May 20th.