The city’s fundraising efforts for the 2012 USA Pro Challenge (UPC) fell short by about $8,000 from budget goals.
The city’s special events department will pay for the difference, according to Nancy Lesley, city of Aspen special events director and head of the local organizing committee. Lesley sent an email to City Council that summarized budget results last week.
Overall, the city spent $285,209 on the event. Items that the organizing committee paid for included over 700 hotel rooms for racers and bike officials, 850 meals for teams and the media, catering for the VIP tent and 1,000 boxed lunches for volunteers and staff, Lesley said.
Meanwhile, event revenues were $277,049. That number includes a $116,000 subsidy from the city of Aspen and a $50,000 marketing subsidy from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA). Sponsorships and VIP ticket sales made up the difference of $111,049.
The city sold 210 of 350 available VIP tickets, which went for $500 for the finish tent or $150 for the next-day start. The race came through town on Aug. 22-23.
The city’s organizing committee originally had a fundraising goal of $250,000 for this year’s race, but that was when expenses were projected to be $350,000. VIP ticket sales and “VIP experience” packages, which included seats in a pace car that followed the racers for $10,000 each day, were to account for $160,000 of that goal.
The budget shortfall is likely due to the high-priced packages going unsold and the fact that statewide bike race organizers instituted a new policy this year where they received all revenue from VIP sales on the UPC website, Lesley said. The number of tickets sold by race organizers is private information that they will not disclose, said Nicole Okoneski, a UPC spokesperson.
Still, the city’s budget came out ahead of last year’s when expenses for the bike race exceeded revenues by $15,701. That year revenues were $243,251 and expenditures were $258,952.
Mitzi Rapkin, city spokesperson, said that the email City Council received was the last piece of information council would get on the 2012 event and there would be no further discussions on the numbers.
Mayor Mick Ireland disagreed and said that the conversation would be continued when the committee presents a budget for next year’s race.
“I’m happy to discuss this more,” he said.
The city made a bid to be a host city for the 2013 race in September and race organizers will likely announce which cities won their bids in December, Rapkin said.