Columbia loses bid for Tour of Missouri

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | 7:15 p.m. CST; updated 7:22 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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.



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Michael Scott January 28, 2009 | 7:53 a.m.

This is great news! Hopefully we can shift Columbia's focus away from bicycles!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 28, 2009 | 8:14 a.m.

Michael Scott It is not just the bike issue as this city has so many more urgent needs to be addressed like police training programs,added patrols,more EMS coverage,more educational programs for at risk youth and so much more.

I think alot can agree with the above statement.

(Report Comment)
Michael Scott January 28, 2009 | 8:37 a.m.

I agree completely. The problem with Columbia's priorities can also be seen in the Vandiver Road plans that were released this week. To go $2 million over budget on the project in order to add bike lanes to a bridge and some round-a-bouts seems like a waste with so many other needs in the city.

(Report Comment)
David Sheahen January 28, 2009 | 10:58 a.m.

Never fear - the Missouri Grand Prix swim meet is still on! It has hosted the top elite swimmers, both US and international, right here to Columbia for the past 2 years. Several national and world records have been set at this meet. It is like having the world series or the super bowl champs coming here to Columbia to play a game.

The event runs 4 days so there are plenty of hotel rooms rented and lots of restaurant business - swimmer eat alot.

The convention bureau supported the meet in year 1, but it should be given more notice that it has gotten.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 28, 2009 | 11:32 a.m.

Well if Columbia had not been so greedy they obviously would have gotten that bike event too. I bet the Mayor cried over losing that event.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 28, 2009 | 12:37 p.m.

Just how was Columbia being greedy by not scheduling on a football weekend and not asking hotels to give rooms away for free or reduced prices? As I recall, football weekends and the police presence required for that was why the neo-Nazi group was not allowed to march here a second time, and the requested hotel rooms are usually filled well in advance, especially with the recent success of the Tigers.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer January 28, 2009 | 1:03 p.m.

Aren't you guys being shortsighted? Gasoline at sub $2 is going to have a fairly short life. Anyone that thinks this city's focus should shift away from bikes is being short-sighted in terms of the future benefit of this city. Look at the $4 per gallon racks were packed in this City. If you don't believe me, check out all of the new bike racks on campus. I drove thru there on Monday and even as cold as it was, the students were riding all over the place. Do we need funds for police, fire, at-risk kids, etc,...sure. But when you have a funding source like the $22 million grant, why not use it? It has 'zero' impact on our budgets. Face it, old dudes. Fossil fuels, like us, aren't going to be around forever.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 28, 2009 | 1:14 p.m.

John I was commenting on David Sheahen comment above mine.

(Report Comment)
Morgan Bearden January 28, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.

Columbia didn't really submit a serious proposal. From what I understand, Columbia wanted to be considered for a Tour of Missouri start or finish ONLY if they were guaranteed that the local costs would be covered.

Well...the model that Medalist Sports uses is that the host city is responsible for covering those costs - usually by raising money in the form of local sponsors.

Columbia also wanted to be assured that the race would not land in Columbia on a weekend - duh! The race will always finish in Kansas City or St. Louis - on the weekend. Since Columbia is in the middle of the state, its participation in the Tour of Missouri will always be in the middle of the week - just like Jefferson City, Rolla, or Lebanon.

Best wishes,

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 28, 2009 | 3:12 p.m.

"Look at the $4 per gallon racks were packed in this City."

Maybe so, but the roads were even more packed with single-occupant cars.

(Report Comment)

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