Economic impact of Pro Cycling Challenge weighed

Resort officials say event payoff is in the form of international TV exposure


— The USA Pro Cycling challenge offered mixed results for most Steamboat businesses, but the enduring benefits may come from TV exposure on five continents.

“The real buzz is that Steamboat reached new markets and wider markets through the race,” Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. “It was a chance to show that Steamboat is a town with a breadth of possibilities for visitors and that we’re known as Ski Town USA.”

The TV exposure was beyond what the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association or Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. could have hoped to achieve on their own, Kasten acknowledged. Beyond the live race coverage of the first five race stages on Versus and Sunday’s national coverage on NBC, the race feed was shared with 161 countries and territories.

The race organizers arranged international broadcast partnerships with Eurosport, Supersport and Premier Media Group to reach audiences in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

In addition, Kasten’s colleague Mike Lane said, Radio Shack’s Web-based Shack Tracker coverage of the race allowed people to follow the race on their phones and computers.

In fact, Lane heard directly from U.S. Nordic combined skiers Billy Demong, Brian Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher, who followed the race on Shack Tracker while they were in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, to compete in summer races.

“The opportunities are endless as we take this race into the future,” Kasten said, “And we want to do that.”

It will take weeks for local committees at each stop of the race to fully assess the economic impacts of hosting a start or a finish, Kasten said. But Lane shared some preliminary results from a service Ski Corp. used to capture incomplete data on how many times Steamboat was mentioned on TV during the week.

“It’s a quick service we use to track Steamboat mentions and often misses some places where the footage aired,” Lane said.

The preliminary tally was 106 mentions for an estimated publicity value of nearly $150,000.

Local organizers spent about $160,000 to help land the race.

However, Lane said those initial results did not include numbers generated by NBC’s Sunday telecast or any international TV exposure. Nor did they include print outlets and social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

Steamboat leveraged the NBC telecast by providing the network with stock video footage, which it in turn supplied to network affiliates across the country for use in their local newscasts.

“The numbers and their value will continue to grow; we just don’t track all of those outlets as it’s a bit too expensive,” Lane said. “But it points to a positive sign for generating exposure for the community.”

Kasten said every community that hosted a stage in the Pro Cycling Challenge received a 30-second commercial spot, but Steamboat, with a finish Friday and a race start Saturday, benefited from two commercial spots.

“It showed Steamboat in summer and winter from a community standpoint,” Kasten said. “It wasn’t a Ski Corp. commercial, and it used the Chamber as a call to action.”

If anything marred the media exposure gained from the Pro Cycling Challenge, it was that the live video feed was frequently disrupted as the race wound through the tallest mountains.

Kasten managed to find a bright side to that dark spot.

“It meant (race announcers) Phil (Liggett) and Paul (Sherwen) had to fill time by talking about the race venues and we were able to give them some material,” she said.

Whether or not Steamboat is awarded a stage in the 2012 Pro Cycling Challenge, it will continue to benefit from the event, Kasten predicted.

“If it doesn’t come to Steamboat Springs, but returns to Colorado, it will still be good for Steamboat,” she said.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email


steamboatsprings 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you to everyone that made this happen. This is a home run for Steamboat and part of a much bigger effort to increase the quality of our biking here along with diversifying our economic base.


1999 5 years, 7 months ago


we really don't need to increase the quality of our biking.


JustSomeJoe 5 years, 7 months ago

so 1999, you are against trying to market our biking infrastructure and bike events to a wider audience and bringing in more tourist revenue for the local business owners? Against the mountain putting in more trails for downhill riding? You must be a real local.


1999 5 years, 7 months ago

"you must be a real local"



1999 5 years, 7 months ago

as a matter of fact in my does the exact opposite of "increasing quality".

just wait until we have lots of shuttle service bike tours on spring creek, up hot springs, mad creek buff pass, emerald.and other various trails.

lets see how much you like that.


cindy constantine 5 years, 7 months ago


The article indicated that this particular biking event was a mixed bag as to economic benefit with many intangibles that are hard to measure. I can assure you working downtown that this did not have nearly the positive economic impact that Ride The Rockies had, which attracts riders from many states and has a long term proven positive impact. What the BTUSA initiative seems to have forgotten is that the non-skiing public love ski resorts in the summer because it means mountains and water and ALL the activities that go along with those two features of which biking is only one. I have no problem with having new biking events coming to town, but changing our identity from Ski Town USA to Bike Town USA is silly and confusing. In fact I found out that the domain name for Bike Town USA is owned by a town in Georgia. Let's not confuse our long term history with a new mantra.


1999 5 years, 7 months ago

thank you cindy..... and the fact is Winter Park has coined "mt bike town america" makes our plight to be BTUSA sounds silly when they are about 90 miles away.

we can be...and already are.... a great bike is clear and proven by the great events we put on this summer and past summers....without being BTUSA>

marketing does not equal quality.


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

If I had to vote for "Bike Town USA" I would choose Crested Butte. Is that not where fat-tire clunker mountain-biking was born? My Trek's roots run there, I think.

Any similar claim, by any other town, is blatant and shameless marketing, pure fluff, and to be taken very lightly. I'm sure that, in a couple of months, we'll be "Ski Town USA" again, although there, my vote would go to Aspen.


greenwash 5 years, 7 months ago

Lets be honest here.....I watched a group of visiting cyclists ride in front of the new community center on sidewalk only to have it dead end . They turned around went onto core trail followed path to behind new skate park only to have it dead end again.Got on shield drive path in front of new courhouse only to have it dead end again in front of sherriffs office.

Finally they just got onto Hiway 40 , I think we have a ways to go before we call ourselves bike town anything..


Scott Wedel 5 years, 7 months ago

And that to me is the crux of the "controversy" over cycling - the supporters love the marketing and the cynics see that the marketing has gotten far ahead of the reality.


Jeff_Kibler 5 years, 7 months ago

Why constrain it to "Bike Town USA?" We could be "Bike Town Milky Way!" George Noory could host a remote (viewing) broadcast.


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

Nice, Scott. Short and to the point.

I fully agree, and the lame attempts at striping and bike symbols painted on the roads constitute a poor attempt to mollify. Do these constitute a right-of-way? Who has ultimate right-of-way, pedestrians or cyclists? What about the Yampa strip, from the fire station past the Boathouse? Things get awful tight on that new bike/walkway, traffic squeezing by. Any added liability there, Scott?

Goodyear AZ is very biker-friendly -- definite bike lanes, physical signs too, cushion lanes, and smooth ramps at every corner, onto the 8'-wide sidewalk; no curb-jumping. Not to mention gentle hills, though several nearby mountain parks could challenge any rider.

Bike town, Ski Town, it's all fluff. You can put lipstick on a pig, and it's still a pig. They took "gullible" out of the dictionary, you know.


JustSomeJoe 5 years, 7 months ago

Rhys - pedestrians have the ultimate right away. Perhaps you should take a refresher course before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Having a marketing effort named Bike Town USA doesn't make Steamboat the official Bike Town of the USA, just as having a marketing name of Ski Town USA doesn't make us the Ski Town of the USA.

Hey 1999 - you've already said the quality is there. So you are just against the marketing of the quality. It's "tawdry and cheap" to market bike riding, bike trails and bike events in the hope that more tourists will come, use our existing infrastructure and spend money? As you said, you are against more people coming here to use our trails. All the hallmarks of a "real local" (sarcasm).


rhys jones 5 years, 7 months ago

We don't need no stinking course. We're the Highway Star!!


sledneck 5 years, 7 months ago

It's "right-of way", Joe.

And, frankly, the ultimate right of way goes to the guy operating the heaviest machinery. Mack ain't never had its truck kicked by a bicycle...


1999 5 years, 7 months ago

ah.... where did i say I was against people using the trails? can you point that out because I have never said that. you are starting to sound like Mz Kelley Voctory and Lisa watts.

the fact has been proven that we DO NOT need to be BTUSA to attarct tourists and/or bike events.'s tawdy and cheap. have you read any of the other repsonses here?

you said yourself that this town has put on many fabulous race events..golly..the stinger race was a sellout without BTUSA, the stage race will aagin be a super success without being BTUSA, the local series is a great time, the pro challenge was a great success (please insert all other wildly successful bike events of the past and future) and guess what,.... IT"S NOT BECAUSE OF BTUSA..

so if we can do that without being BTUSA...then why should the city spend any more of our tight resouces promoting a concept that we CLEARLY do not need to promote.

I'm not against marketing what we have or marketing future events.... but we DO NOT NEED TO BE BTUSA TO DO THAT>

our town is already a great bike destination we do not need to spend another DIME OF TAXPAYER MONEY (on murals) to lure events or bike business.

it that really that hard for you to understand???


1999 5 years, 7 months ago

so're saying we don't need to stand behind our "claim" of being BTUSA...we just need to sell the t shirts?


blue_spruce 5 years, 7 months ago

"You can put lipstick on a pig, and it's still a pig..."



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