Posted: Aug 24, 2012 11:05 PM by Jacqui Heinrich
Updated: Aug 25, 2012 7:56 AM
You might think huge crowds that come with the US Pro Cycling Challenge would mean a boost to the local economy; the race brought thousands of spectators to the downtown finish line, but other sections of town like Old Colorado City were deserted.
Many businesses closed early and some didn't bother opening at all. Howard Walters of the shop 'Traditions' told News 5, "It really chases business away because they block off the street and there's not many spectators that come down as much as they build it up, most spectators go to the finish line."
Business owners blame road closures and 'no parking' hoods left on meters well after the race ended for the lull. Lucero Ramirez, an employee at Bear Cave Imports, said 'They left the signs on for a couple of hours so people weren't parking or anything." Emily Fair of The Squash Blossom agreed, saying, "We rely drivers going past and being able to park."
Ramirez says the same thing happened last year. "Two stores in front of us didn't open. I guess they've been through this last year. They [the race organizers] bring a flyer with pictures of a big crowd and they say that's how it's gonna get so people get excited, but our neighbor next door said that's just false advertising because there hasn't been any people."
The few people who did come out to shop-- like Dan Forbeck-- didn't get what they bargained for. Forbeck told News 5, "If it's not a place to eat, it's closed. I know the vendors want us to come out. Well, I'm here, but they're closed, so that's kind of disappointing."
The situation has left shop owners like Walters pleading to race organizers, saying "This is the second year in a row that it has closed down the street and we've lost business for the day to the bike races. Next year, go through Manitou."