State tourism division won't fund Tour of Missouri

Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 8:35 a.m. CDT; updated 2:42 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 10, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — State tourism officials said they have no plans to spend money on the next Tour of Missouri bicycle event.

The Legislature budgeted $1 million for the Division of Tourism to help fund the event.

But the Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that the division is not obligated to spend the money on the bicycle event and has decided to use the money for other purposes.

Marci Bennett is chairwoman of the Tourism Commission, which determines how the tourism division spends its money.

Bennett said the tourism division's budget for the next fiscal year has been cut to $13.5 million from $20.5 million. And she said the $1 million for the Tour of Missouri could be better spent on the state's cooperative marketing program, which benefits 40 Missouri communities.

The bike race could continue if enough private money is raised.

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