This week on RE/MAX of Boulder Radio, Duane Duggan hosted the CEO of the USA Pro Challenge, Shawn Hunter, and retired pro cyclist,Timmy Duggan. In recent years the USA Pro challenge has been growing rapidly and becoming an ingrained part of Boulder’s cycling culture. Shawn gave us the inside scoop on the future of the race and its importance in Boulder and throughout Colorado.
What exactly is the USA Pro Challenge? It’s the largest pro-cycling challenge in the United States with spectators rivaling that of the Olympic Games. Though still not as well known as the Tour De France, it certainly is picking up momentum here in the United States as well as other areas of the world, including Europe. This race is very well supported and it is anticipated to have an economic impact on the communities in Colorado while increasing the state’s exposure to the rest of the world.
The economic impact is immediately obvious from the boost of tourism and that business for local hotels, restaurants, and shops has grown tremendously in the last few years. This year, 23% of spectators came from states and countries outside of Colorado, including a plethora of european competitors. The USA Pro Challenge typically occurs only three weeks after the Tour De France and many racers arrive in Colorado early to adjust to the altitude change. This year the US Pro Challenge invited 200 countries and territories to take in the beauty that is Colorado. TV ratings of the race are up 34% and with this exposure there is increased interest in vacation homes and real estate from outside of the US
All the positive feedback has people wondering how and when the event will expand. Shawn assured us that the expansion will be prudent and that there will be no reason to leave Colorado thanks to the great courses and Hunter adds “it feels like home.” Boulder in particular still remains a special location for the race. Unfortunately, last year’s flood made it impossible to finish in Boulder this time, but it is anticipated that the final stage will end in Boulder in 2015. This year, Boulder was the start city and managed to keep things interesting with the wildly successful kid’s Pro Challenge Race.
The USA Pro Challenge has a very large sponsorship base on both the local and international level. This along with the support and leadership of the communities involved are what allow this race to be successful where other similar events tend to fall short. This race has been huge for Colorado, bringing both immediate and long term economic benefits for the state and for individuals dealing with real estate.
To learn more about the USA Pro Challenge or its current and potential economic impacts, please listen to the full radio interview! If you are interested in being an international sponsor, local sponsor, or a volunteer for next year’s USA Pro Challenge, check out the Pro Challenge website at www.ProChallenge.com.