COLUMBIA — Columbia has lost a bid for the Tour of Missouri bike race, said Lorah Steiner of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Officials with Columbia's Convention and Visitors Bureau presented their proposal specifically for an event that would start mid-week so that the tour would not interfere with an MU football weekend. The Tour of Missouri could not make that work with its schedule, Steiner said.
The Tour of Missouri is taking place Sept. 7-13, and the city of Columbia asked for a starting event during the week because the logistics of hotel rooms could not be handled during a football weekend.
The way the tour works, a hotel either sponsors the tour and gives participants discounted hotel rooms, or the city in which the tour will pass will purchase the rooms at a discounted rate. Steiner said that the city cannot ask local hotels to discount their rooms when those rooms would be in high demand on a football weekend. Hotels can charge a higher rate on football weekend because they know the rooms will be filled.
“This is a tough market, right now, for hotels,” Steiner said. “We can’t ask them to sell us those rooms for $45 or give them to us for free.”
Steiner also said that holding the event on a football weekend puts a greater strain on the resources of the city and MU.
In 2007, Columbia hosted a weekend stretch of the Tour of Missouri. Steiner said that despite being unable to take part in the tour this year, Columbia would still like to participate in the future.