Mother nature may have put on the breaks for motorists with the recent snowfall, but it didn’t keep Lt. Governor Peter Kinder from announcing at a Press Conference in Jefferson City that Rolla has been selected as a Host City for the 2009 Tour of Missouri.
Being selected among 10 other cities state-wide, including our neighbor, St. James, who will host a Stage of the prestigious international cycling event from Sept. 7 through Sept. 13, is something worth getting excited about. I’m thrilled at the opportunity for our City to be hosting one of the top five professional cycling races in the world. Please mark your calendar for Sept. 9 when Rolla will be hosting the Stage 3 Finish (beginning in Farmington) and Sept. 10 when St. James will host a Stage 4 Start that will culminate in Jefferson City.
Last year the Tour of Missouri drew more than 435,000 spectators over seven days, and it had an direct and indirect economic impact of almost $30 million to the state. Once more, visitors from 30 states attended various stages of the Tour of Missouri, and individuals from 145 countries viewed the race over the Internet. More than 12,000 individuals attended the Stage 4 Finish last year in Rolla on Sept. 11 and the positive economic impact it had on the Rolla community in terms of local, state and international media coverage, increased hotel bookings, restaurant visits, fuel and other related purchases was significant. Placing Rolla on an international stage with Kansas City, St. Louis, St. Joseph and other prominent cities in the state is also something that elevates the visibility and stature of our City as well. In addition to the impact this event has from a tourism and economic standpoint, it also helps promote health and wellness, fosters a better understanding of different countries and cultures, builds community pride, and strengthens the City’s town and gown relationship with Missouri University of Science and Technology.
You will be hearing more about the details regarding this year’s Tour of Missouri in the weeks and months ahead, but if you’d like to find out more about what’s in store, please visit the official Tour of Missouri Website at www.tourofmissouri.com. My sincere thanks go out to the members of the Tour of Missouri Local Organizing Committee, chaired again this year by Scott Caron, the City’s Recreation Director, who worked diligently to submit another winning Tour of Missouri bid.