It seems like just yesterday that 120 of the most talented professional cyclists in the world, who competed in the 2008 Tour of Missouri, crossed the finish line on 10th Street in front of the Castelman Hall Performing Arts Center.
Being part of the Tour of Missouri Stage 4 Finish on Sept. 11, 2008 in Rolla was not only an exhilarating experience, but also a major milestone for a City of our size in South Central Missouri. The partnerships that were forged before, during and after the international event with Missouri University of Science and Technology, the City of St. James, Medalist Sports, KOM, and the event’s area sponsors such as Brewer Science, Inc., Phelps County Bank, Phelps County Regional Medical Center, to name just a few, demonstrated how collaboration and teamwork is essential when hosting an event of this magnitude.
Many Rolla residents who attended the Tour of Missouri Stage 4 finish in Rolla and Stage 5 Start in St. James on Sept. 12 may be curious to know just how much of an impact the TOM had on the City of Rolla, and fortunately I have been provided with those statistics and figures from Scott Caron, Director of the Recreation Center and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the Tour of Missouri.
Scott recently made a presentation to the Rolla City Council during our last Council meeting that outlines the many benefits and rewards the City received by participating and hosting Stage 4 of the event.
The international exposure and recognition Rolla received on television networks, Websites and newspapers from over 80 countries was staggering. In addition, numerous state-wide television and radio coverage, magazines, and newspapers, including great coverage by the Rolla Daily News, helped put Rolla on the map in a way that has not been done very often in the history of our city. Rolla’s sales tax and motel sales tax both had significant spikes during the month of September when more than 12,000 individuals came out to watch and show their support for the Stage 4 Finish in Rolla and Stage 5 Start in St. James. Most of the motels and hotels in Rolla were booked to capacity on Sept. 11 and many of the area restaurants reported record sales the day and evening the Tour of Missouri was held in Rolla. Other positive benefits the Rolla community receive from the Tour of Missouri include an increased awareness of the importance of health and wellness, a better understanding of the various countries represented in the race, and the overall community pride that comes from the team work and collaboration generated through an event of this stature and size.
My wholehearted support continues to be behind the members of Rolla’s Local Organizing Committee as they once again submit an application bid to be considered as a host city for next year’s Tour of Missouri scheduled for Sept. 7 through Sept. 13, 2009.
In closing I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and memorable Thanksgiving weekend. Our next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (located at 901 North Elm Street). If you can’t attend the meeting, be sure to tune into Rolla Channel 6 (RC6) at 6:30 p.m. The Council meeting will be broadcast live and rebroadcasted throughout the week.