According to an international sports research group, the annual USA Pro Challenge cycling race pumped more than $130 million into the Colorado economy in 2014. The seven-day race, which takes cyclists through the Rocky Mountains, is one of the largest cycling events in the United States. Thousands of spectators travel to the Denver area each year to enjoy the combination of professional cycling and stunning natural scenery.
Sponsorship Science, which conducted the economic impact study, reported that fans who traveled more than 50 miles to the race spent 12 percent more on food, transportation, entertainment, and lodging in 2014 than in the previous year. The report attributed the increase to fans booking longer hotel stays and to higher hotel fees.
“This race showcases Colorado to the world and creates an incredible economic impact locally that can be felt throughout the year,” restaurant financier Rick Schaden, who founded USA Pro Challenge, told a media outlet.
Schaden also noted that the 2013 race generated increased television viewership. NBC, Universal Sports, and NBC Sports Network aired 30 hours of the race, which was watched in more than 175 countries and territories.