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City calculates benefits of Tour of California

Posted: July 21, 2016 6:42 p.m.
Updated: July 21, 2016 6:42 p.m.
Bradley Wiggins, the leader of the Amgen Tour of California in 2014, starts Stage 6 of the race in downtown Newhall. The city of Santa Clarita spent $150,000 on the Amgen Tour of California this year, with about $18,000 returned to city coffers, officials said this week. Bradley Wiggins, the leader of the Amgen Tour of California in 2014, starts Stage 6 of the race in downtown Newhall. The city of Santa Clarita spent $150,000 on the Amgen Tour of California this year, with about $18,000 returned to city coffers, officials said this week.
Bradley Wiggins, the leader of the Amgen Tour of California in 2014, starts Stage 6 of the race in downtown Newhall. The city of Santa Clarita spent $150,000 on the Amgen Tour of California this year, with about $18,000 returned to city coffers, officials said this week.
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The city of Santa Clarita spent $150,000 on the Amgen Tour of California this year, with about $18,000 returned to city coffers, officials said this week.

The purpose of hosting one of the world’s most famed bicycle races each year is not to make money, city officials say, but to gain recognition, a positive reputation for tourism and other less tangible, but potentially long-term revenue-generating, values for the city, according to officials.

“It’s obvious Amgen does not in any way pay back the taxpayers for its investment,” said Councilman TimBen Boydston. “But it gains a lot of reputation and exposure as a first-class city by hosting it.”

Santa Clarita is featured on all materials associated with the race as a host city, said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for the city.

“The exposure markets Santa Clarita as a destination city for tourism,” he said.

Millions of people were delivered information about the city through the race website, race app, news releases, social media and email blasts. Santa Clarita also received a national television spot played multiple times on NBC Sports Network, in addition to the two-hour live coverage on NBC Sports Network during the race, Crawford said.

Mayor Bob Kellar described it as a “quality of life” benefit.

“Even if the Amgen tour costs us, … the trade-out and benefit makes it well worth it,” he said, emphasizing the positive exposure the city receives as well as the enjoyment of the people who attend the event.

Economic impact

This year the city hosted the Tour of California’s Stage 2 finish on May 16 in downtown Newhall. Fans flocked to the area well ahead of finish time for entertainment and other activities.

Crawford noted the city benefits indirectly from the race as visitor spending boosts the local economy.

Santa Clarita hired a third-party economic analysis firm in 2008 to determine what the indirect benefit was that year, when the city hosted both a start and a finish for the bicycle race.

“It generated approximately $1.9 million of economic impact to the greater Santa Clarita Valley area,” Crawford said, explaining that the funds add up as fans, supporters, participants and tourists buy hotel rooms, food and gas in addition to other shopping.

He added that not all the funds spent this year on the Amgen event came from the city’s general fund.

About $25,000 came out of the city’s general fund and went toward the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for security. Another $25,000 was from local business sponsorships.

The majority - $100,000 of the $150,000 spent by the city on the Tour of California – was tourism marketing district funds collected through hotel stays. Those funds can be used only to market the city and attract tourism events.

City coffers

The approximately $18,000 collected this year that’s going back directly to the city comes from revenue related to transient occupancy tax and tourism marketing district fees for hotel rooms, along with sales tax generated from spending at local businesses, Crawford said.

Funds are generated from tour teams and personnel as well as from tourists visiting Santa Clarita for the race when they shop locally.

Tour teams and personnel booked 992 hotel rooms for the race.

Boydston said he hopes the city will conduct a poll within the community to find out what types of events the residents would like to see hosted in Santa Clarita.

“Without having a poll, you don’t know what the community thinks,” he said.

 

 

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