Colorado Springs may soon add another big cycling event to its schedule.
Colorado Springs city council members on Monday considered a proposal by David Whitaker of Perimeter Bicycling Events for a 105-mile Tour of Colorado Springs on June 30. Organizers say they expect 1,500 to 2,000 riders this year.
The event would begin at the corner of Boulder and Tejon Streets and make a counter-clockwise loop around the city. The proposed route will include a ride through the Broadmoor, through Fort Carson and south to Fountain. Riders would then pedal north to the Black Forest, west to the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods and back to downtown.
"We want to bring a world-class event to Colorado Springs, on that reflects the spirit of the people and the recreational activities here," Whitaker said.
Riders would pay about $90 to participate, with $15 guaranteed for local charities. Participants will also be encouraged to raise funds for their favorite nonprofit group.
Whitaker is asking for up to $88,000 from the city for police support.
Whitaker's proposal made for spirited discussion and mixed reaction, but most of the council spoke in favor of supporting the event.
"This is the kind of event that fits in the city's strategic plan," said councilman Tim Leigh. "To not support this would be unconscionable."
Council members Lisa Czelatdko, Bernie Herpin, Jan Martin and Scott Hente also voiced approval. The meeting was informal, meaning that no official decision could be made. The new ride is expected to be approved at a formal council meeting at 1 p.m. on Feb. 28.
"It's time or us to let everyone know that we're open for business here," Martin said.
Councilwoman Angela Dougan wasn't opposed to the ride, but argued that it should be pushed to 2013 while the city finds a way to cover the cost.
Officials at Fort Carson have already given their blessings, though Whitaker said he has not secured final approval from the Air Force Academy. Whitaker also said he'll also need approval from El Paso County, as well as the Colorado State Patrol.
Whitaker said he expects 1,500 to 2,000 riders to participate in the first year with an economic impact of $2 million or more.
The ride will be patterned off the 29-year-old El Tour de Tucson which has grown to 9,000 riders a year. Te Tour of Colorado Springs would also include routes of 40 and 80 miles for those who don't feel they can manage 105.