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  • Thu May 27 2010
  • Posted May 28, 2010
Missouri By MEREDITH RODRIGUEZ The Kansas City Star Barring a last-minute infusion of money, this summer’s Tour of Missouri bicycle race will be canceled, organizers said Thursday. Tour of Missouri Inc. made the announcement after a committee of the Missouri Tourism Commission approved a budget that included no money for the race, which organizers described as the second-largest cycling event in the U.S. Officials are hoping that Gov. Jay Nixon will meet with them in the next few days and consider reversing the decision. The state provided $1.5 million last year, and the tour was hoping for $1 million in 2010. Mike Weiss, chairman of Tour of Missouri Inc., described the situation as a “huge loss for the state of Missouri and its citizens. … It’s left all of us absolutely baffled.” This year’s race would have been the fourth Tour of Missouri, and organizers said the previous races generated $80 million in economic impact. But state officials said a state contribution was not feasible in tough economic times. In a statement, the Missouri Division of Tourism said that using one-fourth of its $4 million marketing budget for the bike race “would give us a lower return on investment than we currently receive.” The division also said it warned organizers last fall that funding would be cut, so the tour could raise money elsewhere. It also said the division director got little response after offering to assist the tour with fundraising. Tour organizers said they had a plan to be self-sufficient within three years. “Then they decided to kill us instead of taking a rational business approach,” said Brent Hugh, vice chairman. And 2011? Without a race this year, tour officials said, it would be hard to draw competitors the following year. “It’s very difficult to bring them back,” Hugh said. To reach Meredith Rodriguez, call 816-234-4415 or send e-mail to mrodriguez@kcstar.com Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/05/27/1976104/tour-of-missouri-doomed.html#ixzz0pEZy8pnq [BIKEIOWA Note: How about a "Tour of Iowa"?? any big-time promoters out there?]

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