The Tour of Missouri, the professional bicycling race that has taken place throughout the Show Me State since 2007 and has highlighted the state in a prolific and invaluable way, today announced a special campaign to solicit support for the race, scheduled for August 31 – September 6, 2010.
Over the course of three years, an estimated 1.2 Million spectators from more than 40 states and 20 countries have lined the roads of Missouri to see more than 120 world-class athletes race. The event also has been seen on FOX Sports Midwest, Versus and through live webcasts that have reached viewers in more than 170 countries.
“Like the Tour de France, this event has transformed Missouri into a tourist destination by showcasing the sights and sounds of Missouri to the world. And best of all, it’s been a free public event that all walks of life have enjoyed,” said Mike Weiss, president of the Missouri Bicycle Racing Association. “There is still debate at the state level for support of this event. We need continued state, and even general public support outside the realms of traditional corporate support, to continue this race. It’s essential for not only the event’s success but viability.”
Weiss, who also was a key initiator in the event’s concept, added that the Tour of Missouri has become more than a “bike race”, and each year has been an international festival for community pride statewide while providing a healthy direct and indirect economic return.
“I have talked with leaders of cities across the who have hosted the Tour, who have seen how it brings communities together and really improves a city’s quality of life,” said Brent Hugh, Executive Director of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation. “The Tour is like a big community celebration and its health and wellness focus has inspired people across the state to get out and improve their fitness while enjoying Missouri’s great outdoors.”
Hugh added that in these global times, the event also has become a great international experience for those attending. Athletes from more than 30 countries have competed in the Tour of Missouri over the past three years making this the most international sporting event Missouri has hosted since the 1904 Olympics.
The economic impact on Missouri has been measured at more than $75 million over the past three years. Host cities have received media impressions in more than 170 countries. More than 30 cities have played host to the event and derived international recognition from the event.
On behalf of the non-profit group Tour of Missouri, Inc.,
Weiss and Hugh announced the following ways individuals can support the Tour of Missouri:
- Join the movement at “Support Tour of Missouri” by posting your comments at www.facebook.com/tourofmissouri. More than 4,000 people have joined since Monday, March 15, many submitting their views of the event.
- Donate by going to www.tourofmissouri.com, then click through on the donation button. There are various levels with various premium benefits for your support. Because the Tour of Missouri is a not-for-profit venture, all your donations are tax deductible.
Also, individuals may voice their support by email or call one of three places:
- Governor Jay Nixon’s office (573 751-3222, http://governor.mo.gov)
- Tourism Director Katie Danner Steele’s office (573-751-3051, DirectorMoTourism@ded.mo.gov)
- State legislators (or any number of state legislators (MoBikeFed.org/ContactElectedOfficials)