USA Pro Challenge: OK for business, great for Breckenridge
Ryan Summerlin September 22, 2012
The USA Pro Challenge may not have been a big money maker for every Breckenridge business, but for the most part, local establishment owners feel it’s beneficial to the town as a whole.
Eleven out of 71 respondents to a recent business survey conducted by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber reported the race had a “somewhat” or “very” negative impact on their business, while the other 60 saw zero to substantial change. Twenty-four owners said it had no impact, while 36 reported a “somewhat” or “very” positive effect.
Asked about the results for the town, only one person said it was “very negative”, while 67 said it was “somewhat” or “very” positive. Three business owners felt the race had no impact either way.
“We do believe the pro tour has a positive impact on Breckenridge, but none to our business,” one owner wrote. “Hopefully this event will return.”
Other comments echoed the same sentiment, with many business owners expressing favoritism towards a finish stage, as opposed to this year’s start. A few didn’t like the event – “end it,” one person wrote, and another, “it seems like a lot of disruption and a huge amount of police resource” – while others had nothing but love for the race.
“International events of this magnitude boost our stature as a destination resort,” one restaurant owner said.
“Love it, keep it coming,” a retail owner wrote.
Among businesses surveyed, there was a 10 percent average increase in sales over last year’s event.
“The general consensus is that the Pro Challenge is a good long-term brand and business builder and there is support in the business community and with our town council to bid for it next year,” said Lucy Kay, Breckenridge Local Organizing Committee co-chairperson, noting the increase in sales.
From a town marketing standpoint, the race is pure gold. It boost’s Breckenridge’s image as a bicycling community, and reaches potential visitors through worldwide television coverage.
“I think some people are expecting to have a great increase in sales … but that’s not the primary reason we had the race,” said BRC president John McMahon. “The primary reason is to drive long-term demand for Breckenridge.”