The bids poured into the USA Pro Challenge's downtown Denver headquarters Friday as communities across Colorado bid for a coveted slot as host of next year's race.At least 19 communities submitted bids to host the third annual weeklong race, including 10 of last year's 12 hosts.Northern Colorado's Loveland, Estes Park, Fort Collins and Windsor sent cyclists to the Pro Challenge's office to submit their combined bid to host the penultimate day of the race before the Sunday finish in Denver.Fort Collins race supporter Eric Thompson said the race "would be one of the most exciting events to ever come to Northern Colorado.""It would put the eyes of the whole world on our region, and the economic benefits would be realized over a long period," the president of The Group Real Estate firm said in a statement.Long-term impacts were emphasized by hosts of this year's race. Despite official local reports reflecting less-than-expected crowds and spending at hosts like Durango, Boulder and Telluride, organizers said the second annual race harvested $99.6 million in direct spending by more than 1 million spectators. Organizers said the inaugural race in 2011 saw a million spectators spending $83.5 million.Television cameras splashed 31 hours of race coverage into 175 countries, amounting to one long commercial promoting Colorado, an impact that eclipses single-day spectator spending at hotels and restaurants.To read this article in its entirety, go to http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22011775/colorado-cities-bid-host-stages-2013-usa-pro?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com
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