Pro racing in Colorado and Virginia for the year of 2018, having a form of four- day stage racing and a total budget mid seven figure. Eight private investors to fund the entire project says the company, called RPM Events Group LLC. These impressive ownership groups includes Colorado’s Gart family, owning an international cable TV and broadcast company Liberty Global, Denver businessman David Koff and Ben Walton, a grandchild of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Ken Gart, the chairman of the RPM Events Group LLC, said the company’s goal is to build an “innovation new model” that will help the events survive cycling’s rocky mountain persona.
The group’s model revolves around a hub-and-spoke format, wherein one city in each state hosts the start/finish line for the majority of the stage. In theory, that cuts down on soaring costs for road closures and transporting equipment and personnel. The group declined to divulge which cities in Colorado and Virginia will be the hubs for the respective stage races.
Tim Miller, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, said the projects overall budget will cost between that of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which cost approximately $10 million each year to organize, and the Tour of Utah, which race chairman Steve Miller recently pegged in the $3.5 million range. The investor group is being led by Colorado’s Gart family, which owned a chain of sporting goods stores throughout Utah and Colorado.
“ We are trying to create races that have a broader entertainment experience. “ Koff said.
Because of the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge, sponsors, fans, teams and riders focused on the two events in August, with the Colorado race earning greater attention due to its bigger crowd sizes and larger media footprint. According to race management, the races has seen an uptick in its sponsor lineup, VIP attendance, and even its domestic and international TV demand for coverage.
According to Jenn Andrs, Executive Director for the race, new partners Clif Bar and Mavic with more of a sponsor lineup to come. Foreign television also grew throughout the world and with Fox’s domestic adding coverage to 28 total hours of race coverage doubling there television time. More VIP race packaging, which is an uptick in sales and more sponsor’s participation with clients. In Utah they had businesses coming to them in hoping to do business as partners, only to find out that most of the exclusive categories were already full. This year alone the race has 12 marquee sponsors in its lineup, as well as 42 smaller partners.
The race’s ownership, the Larry H. Miller, pays for the event’s costs that are not covered by sponsorship. Using Larry H. Miller as the title sponsor of the Tour of Utah in using all of his 17 businesses to support the State of Utah.