A report that will be released by Gov. Matt Blunt (R) later this week will show the Tour of Missouri, a professional cycling event that traveled to cities throughout the state, had a $26 million impact on the state's economy in 2007.
The economic impact for Missouri's race fell short of the impact of the event the Tour was modeled after in Georgia, the Tour de Georgia, which has had an average annual economic impact of $29.6 million for that state's economy. The impact was greater than the $23 million impact of Georgia's race in its first year of operation.
The two economic impact studies, however, utilized slightly different methodologies to estimate the total number of attendees. The Georgia study relied on a non-randomized sample whereas the Missouri study used a catch-and-release method commonly employed in measuring the impact of recreational sports.
The report will also indicate that out-0f-state visitors who traveled to Missouri for the race stayed longer and spent more money than a average tourist in the state.
Some economic minds were quick to question last summer whether the race would have the economic impact Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) indicated would be inevitable.
"The bottom line is that it is unlikely that the Tour of Missouri created enough new jobs or new physical capital to generate an additional $25 million of GSP," Joe Haslag, a Research Fellow at the Show-Me Institute said. "Nor were there enough idle resources — such as empty hotel rooms — used by out-of-state fans and participants to add that much to the Missouri economy."
Shortly after the completion of the race Blunt and Kinder both indicated that they expected the race would yield economic benefits of at least $26 million.
"The Tour of Missouri surpassed all expectations and demonstrated its value and benefits at least 10 times over," a press release from Blunt's office said.
The study to determine the Tour of Missouri's economic impact was completed by Michael Kaylen as part of the Tourism Economics Research Initiative at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Minutes from a recent meeting of the Missouri Development Finance Board show that while expenditures for the race were under budget, so too were revenues. At the Board's December 2007 meeting, an extra $350,000 was unanimously approved for the race to cover revenue shortfalls from 2007. Kinder indicated at that meeting the shortfalls were a result of too few sponsorships for the race.
The announcement of the Tour of Missouri's economic impact was originally scheduled for early January, but the release of the report was unexpectedly postponed and rescheduled for the coming week.
Organizers will also announce the planned route of the 2008 race at the press conference this week.
“We plan to build on this and make it bigger and better for 2008,” Kinder said.
Tour of Missouri Official Website
MPN: Tour of Missouri economic impact to be released next week
MPN: Early reports on the Tour of Missouri's economic impact in question
MPN: Tour of Missouri economic argument based on flawed Georgia economic impact study