Meeting Thursday to address Tour of California race's impact on Avila

clambert@thetribunenews.comApril 17, 2013 

A community meeting will be held Thursday evening to provide more information and answer questions about the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race, which comes into San Luis Obispo County on May 16.

The 128 riders will finish a 115-mile stage in Avila Beach; the fifth stage of eight in their weeklong race. Thousands of spectators are expected to crowd into the seaside community and line the route.

Supervisor Adam Hill will host the public meeting, which will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Avila Beach Community Center, 191 San Miguel St.

More information about parking and accessing the community on May 16 will be discussed. County officials said they also expect to receive questions about security in light of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Meanwhile, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an agreement with AEG Cycling, the company that owns the tour, which details the obligations and benefits to both parties. (Amgen, a Thousand Oaks-based bioscience company, has served as the tour sponsor since the race started in 2006.)

The agreement specifies that AEG Cycling is “essentially responsible for all the hard costs” associated with the event, and has agreed to reimburse the county sheriff’s office $13,335 for public safety services.

The county’s so-called “soft costs,” such as the time county staffers are spending to work out the details of the event, won’t be covered.

The Avila Beach Tourism Alliance, an arm of the county Business Improvement District, has agreed to spend $30,000 to pay primarily for hotel rooms and meals for tour organizers. The Tourism Alliance is funded with special assessments added to the normal transient occupancy tax paid by overnight visitors to hotels in the county.

The county also agreed to assist AEG in marketing and publicizing the event, to help layout the race course, and to serve as liaison between the race and local residents, businesses and visitors.

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