Pro Cycling Challenge give Colorado economy a boost

October 4, 2011 in Boulder Events, Financial News

Provided by Fox 31:
It is expected to generate an estimated $24 million to the local economy.

Compare that to this event…and you could be talking hundreds of millions.

It’s not just a world class sporting event but for Colorado…it’s a world class shot at the international spotlight.

“I was at the last Coors Classic right here in downtown Denver and it’s just phenomenal,” said Molly Cohen, watching from the sidelines near the state capitol.

It has been 23 years since that last pro cycling event and state tourism boosters say this giant week long party will generate as much as $100 million in direct economic impact.

“It’s great to see major road cycling back in Colorado again,” said Mark Cohn, who was at the Red Zinger Classic back in 1978.

“Colorado’s got a good cycling scene I think last couple of years, three or four years,” said Keenen Reed, “Cycling so it’s good to see more of the racing scene.”

Despite the race going on right here behind them some opted to stay in the tent and watch it on TV.

A worldwide TV audience of at least 100 million was expected to watch.

The race exposes Colorado’s beauty to a potentially huge boost in tourism, which is the state’s second largest industry.

” It’s so great for Denver there’s so many out here it’s just absolutely a perfect day,” said Rob Cohen, a huge cycling fan.

Sponsors call it the largest spectator event in Colorado history.

“It inspires Coloradoans to get involved in their own health and be active,” said Beth Soberg, United Health of Colorado’s CEO. And for us that’s our mission so that means a lot to us.”

And since it’s such a perfect fit for Colorado’s reputation as the fittest state in the nation, some say this event could become our own Kentucky Derby.

On this big final day of huge international exposure, they say we may not know the full extent of the economic benefit for weeks to come.

But it’s been a win, win for Colorado.

Bike Share in Boulder

May 3, 2011 in Boulder Events, Colorado News, Community News

Boulder bike-share program to launch in May with 200 bikes

By Laura Snider Camera Staff Writer

Posted: 01/04/2011 09:21:44 PM MST

This map shows possible bike-share stations in Boulder, though the locations are not finalized. When the Boulder B-cycle launches in May, program organizers hope to have about 25 stations and 200 bicycles.

Boulder B-cycleWhat it is: A bike-sharing program that will allow customers to rent a bike from any of about 25 stations in Boulder.

How it works: Riders will be able to buy a membership at any kiosk in the city, then check out a bike. The bike can be returned to any other B-cycle station. Boulder B-cycle is also working to set up a reciprocal program with Denver’s B-cycle system, allowing members from both cities to use all the bikes.

What it costs: A 24-hour membership will cost $5, and a yearly membership will be $50. The first 60 minutes after a bike is checked out is free, and then the cost will be $4 for each additional half-hour.

More information: boulderbcycle.com

When the first phase of Boulder’s new bike-sharing program begins in May, 200 bikes will be docked at about 25 stations set up to saturate the city’s commercial district from the Pearl Street Mall east to the Twenty Ninth Street mall.

“Generally, in bike-sharing, you try and serve an area, like a neighborhood, and then you put stations in close proximity to one another,” said Lewis Wolman, executive director of Boulder B-cycle, the nonprofit behind the new program. “The exact corner isn’t as important as saying, ‘Gee, we’re going to cover downtown so from any point in downtown, you should be able to get to a bike-sharing station in less than a five-minute walk.’”

A map of proposed bike stations for phase one of Boulder B-cycle’s program was provided to the Boulder City Council on Tuesday night, and it shows seven possible stations in the area bounded by Ninth Street to the west, 15th Street to the east, Spruce Street to the north and Walnut Street to the south. Other potential stations are scattered to the east, clustering around the Twenty Ninth Street mall and the retail areas just west of 28th Street from Pearl Street south to the Boulder Creek Path.

The Boulder B-cycle program will work nearly identically to the Denver B-cycle program, which began last April. Boulder’s program will allow anyone to swipe a credit card at a kiosk to buy a membership ranging from just one day at a cost of $5 to a full year for $50.

The membership allows riders to check out a bike for an hour at a time with no additional cost, and the bike can be returned to any docking station in town. Each half-hour the bike is kept over an hour will cost another $4.

The idea is that the riders won’t keep the bike out for long, returning it to a kiosk while they eat lunch or go shopping and then checking out another bike to head to their next destination.

“We emphasize that bike-sharing is not bike rental,” Wolman said. “If you want to bike for a day or a half-day, you should rent a bike.”

In the coming years, Wolman hopes to see the program expand, eventually growing to 1,500 bikes that could dock at 150 stations across town. To be successful, the bike-sharing program will need to eventually spread to the University of Colorado and University Hill, he said. But for now — with limited resources — Boulder B-cycle just wants to get the program started.

“We want to get something down on the ground, show everybody how it works, get everybody excited about it and build demand,” he said. “If we do a good job in 2011, we hope to get phone calls from people asking, ‘Can’t you extend the system out to our office or apartment building?’ Then we’ll know we’ve succeeded.”

The city of Boulder is using a $250,000 federal grant to help launch Boulder B-cycle, but the total cost to implement the first phase of the program will likely be closer to $1.3 million. The annual cost for operating and maintaining the 200 bikes and the accompanying stations will be about $520,000, according to a memo by the city staff.

Randall Rutsch, senior transportation planner for the city, said the new bike-sharing program supports multiple city goals.

“It’s consistent with our policy direction, both our transportation master plan and climate action plan,” he said. “We’re trying to provide alternatives in travel and reduce greenhouse gases and pollutants.”

Contact Camera Staff Writer Laura Snider at 303-473-1327 or sniderl@dailycamera.com.

Read more: Boulder bike-share program to launch in May with 200 bikes – Boulder Daily Camera http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_17011815#ixzz1LJES3N9A
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