Amgen Tour of California officials to inspect Tahoe race route
TAHOE CITY and#8212; On the cusp of a formal agreement, officials are eagerly anticipating the visit of Amgen Tour of California site inspectors next week who will evaluate Lake Tahoe as a possible site for the pro cycling tour’s 2011 race.
In a Friday interview, Andy Chapman, director of tourism for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, said the NLTRA and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and#8212; the business associations of Tahoe’s North and South shores and#8212; are waiting for the inspectors arrival sometime next week and will showcase a proposed race route starting off in South Lake Tahoe before shooting riders around the lake for one and a half laps.
If Tahoe’s route is approved, Chapman said it is still to be determined by race officials where the first stage of the tour will end, either at Northstar-at-Tahoe resort or at Squaw Valley USA. The decision will be a weighty one, as the finish line area is usually a large gathering place for spectators and thus a highly commercial area for tourist dollars.
and#8220;We’re encouraged that they’re at least coming out,and#8221; Chapman said. and#8220;Everybody regardless of where it will start or end will be very happy.and#8221;
Chapman said a part of the inspectors tour of Lake Tahoe will include a look at the start and finish areas to evaluate the physical footprint of the festivals, which will coincide with the race.
Within the route proposal, Chapman has said previously that the resort not to be selected as the finishing area and#8212;-Northstar or Squaw and#8212; will be selected to be the starting area for stage two of the tour.
Final approval, according to the Amgen Tour of California website will be announced by mid-to-late September.
Chapman said the NLTRA, the LTVA and other local businesses are working closely with the race directors to establish Tahoe as a race route destination and that the race will generate large amounts of revenue to local businesses in the area and stimulate the Tahoe economy as whole.
For this reason Chapman said both the NLTRA and LTVA are willing take on the financial costs of the race.
and#8220;The direct financial support would be burdened by North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority,and#8221; he said. and#8220;Yet, we will be leaning toward our public partners to help with those costs.and#8221;
Chapman explained they are looking for the support of both public organizations and private hotels to help defer some of the race costs, still yet to be estimated.
The Tour of California entered its fifth year in 2010, and typically includes elite athletes of the cycling world such as last year’s racer Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer who’s won the tour three-times in a row. Michael Rogers won this year’s tour.