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State government awards 2 incentives to support Colorado Classic

For the 2020 iteration of the race, RPM is cutting the cord with “expensive TV networks."

DENVER — Where some might see the Colorado Classic purely as a bicycle race, Colorado leaders are looking at it as a prime economic-development generator.

Colorado Economic Development Commission members on Thursday awarded two incentives to the women’s racing event, which is presented by VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) and scheduled this year for Aug. 27-30. A $150,000 Strategic Fund grant will help organizers with the general costs of the race and is an acknowledgment of the economic-impact the race is expected to bring, while a $120,000 incentive from the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media will offset almost 20% of the costs of producing vignettes on the racers and towns and livestreaming the event across some 40 different platforms in five languages.

“There are the benefits of brand-building and tying gender equity to Colorado. There is support of outdoor recreation and the ecosystem,” said Sean Gould, deputy director of financial analysis for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in explaining the reasons for requesting the Strategic Fund grant from the EDC. “The potential platform for recruiting new businesses to Colorado is always there. And of course there is the benefits to tourism.”

Mired in years of financial losses, race organizers at RPM Events Group swung in a bold new direction last year and decided to make the Colorado Classic the highest-profile event featuring only female bicycle racers in the United States. They drew praise for raising prize money and other benefits for the contestants, and crowds similar to those that had turned out for the combined men’s and women’s races in the past greeted the event.

>Read more at the Denver Business Journal.

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