RAGBRAI vendors and towns experienced financial highs and lows during this last year's attendance-breaking event.
Why it matters: The annual ride is a way Iowa communities can gain visibility and financial support as cyclists eat, party and rest in towns.
- The cycling tourism often doubles or triples towns' population sizes.
Flashback: In 2020, Gannett, the company that owns RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register, pledged more support to towns the ride goes through.
- The pledge came following concerns in 2019 about the financial burdens communities faced from hosting the event. That year, officials from Knoxville, which was an overnight town, told the Gazette they lost $132K largely due to overtime for police and emergency workers.
What's happening: This year, RAGBRAI gave $5,000 to each pass-through town, $10,000 to seven meeting towns and $15,000 to eight overnight towns, the Register reports.