Bob Stephens, Colorado Springs Business Journal
The Springs will be a special destination for thousands of out-of-town guests this summer — fostering an even greater financial impact — because of two much-anticipated events.
The Rocky Mountain State Games will be hosted in late July by the Colorado Springs Sports Corp. for the 16th year. The event has grown steadily and attracted a record 10,314 participants and more than 15,000 spectators in 2016. More than half of the competitors (and their families) spend at least one night in a local hotel, say Sports Corp. officials.
The second event, the inaugural Colorado Classic, is set for August. A variety of fun events surround the professional cyclists’ Aug. 10 stage race — the kickoff leg of the Classic — with the start and finish line at the same spot in downtown Colorado Springs. Plus, NBC Sports will televise the event, providing an even bigger economic boost, officials say.
The pro cycling event is a new and improved version of USA Pro Challenge, the seven-stage bike race that drowned in financial losses after a five-year run ending in 2015. The Colorado Classic figures to build on what was good about its predecessor.
“I think it will be a bigger economic impact for Colorado Springs than USA Pro Challenge was,” Brunner said.
Osborne said the $8 million estimated economic impact “is conservative and very doable.”
Fort Collins and Vail and Denver initially, vied for the honor of hosting the Classic’s first stage. Breckenridge will host Stage 2 while Denver will host stages 3 and 4.
“Tom was a central driver in this coming to town,” Brunner said of Osborne.
“The bid fee was $150,000 and our total budget is about $500,000,” Osborne said. “The Sports Corp. doesn’t have the wherewithal to do this, but we can run it. We had a lot of key partners: the city, El Paso County, El Pomar Foundation, Nor’wood Development Group, GE Johnson, The Colorado Springs Visitors & Convention Bureau, USA Cycling, the Pikes Peak Cycling Society, Comcast.”
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