Article

Pedal Power

Tour of Utah Speeds into Southern Utah

John Coon

July 9, 2013

Many cyclists from Europe participate in the race each August. They love the challenge of racing in such a diverse geographic area where heat and high altitude test each cyclist to the limit.

Being on TV only sweetens the deal.

“Utah is one of those places a lot of Europeans put on their bucket list,” Miller says. “When they find out they’re going to get a chance to come here and ride through these areas, it’s a really unique way to experience our state.”

Economic impact resulting from the Tour of Utah continues to grow with the race itself. The 2012 Tour of Utah had a direct economic impact of $14 million. It also produced $8 million in media value.

Seeing the race expand is a positive development for the future of the sports industry statewide.

“With the Tour of Utah being able to expand their reach and footprint throughout the state, it really does become a state event,” says Utah Sports Commission CEO Jeff Robbins. “More people are obviously supporting it. More people are seeing it. And it really becomes something the entire state can embrace.”

Expanding south is a testament to how far the Tour of Utah has come since the 2007 race was suspended over a lack of sponsorship. Larry H. Miller bought ownership of the race from its founders and worked to get it back on track for 2008.

Since that time, tour officials have worked tirelessly to give the Tour of Utah solid financial footing so it could move forward and grow. Their efforts have paid off quite well. Nearly 100 private companies have helped to fund the Tour of Utah along with the Miller family.

This financial commitment has meant as much to the race’s vitality as the UCI status it enjoys in the international cycling community.

“With any of these major sporting events, you need to have some growth and you need to have a team that can put all the ingredients in place to grow the event and help it go to the next level,” Robbins says. “Having the Millers get involved and put their arms around it and put their resources into the event has helped elevate this event where it is today from where we first made small investments back when it started.” 

 

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