San Luis Obispo will not apply to be a part of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, saying that it is “simply too expensive” for the community at this time.
This comes a week after Paso Robles announced that it once again applied to host a stage finish for the professional bike race, which lured thousands of spectators into its downtown in 2009.
San Luis Obispo would have been required to raise $100,000 in sponsorships plus dedicate staff time to participate in the event, said Shelly Stanwyck, acting parks and recreation director.
“It is just too daunting at this time,” Stanwyck said, adding that the community group who raised money for the bike tour the last time it was in town fell short, leaving the city to fill the funding gap.
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San Luis Obispo hosted stage ends in each of the race’s first three years, beginning in 2006.
The Tour of California bypassed San Luis Obispo County entirely this year.
Paso Robles estimates it could cost $120,000 to host a stage finish next year.
The Local Organizing Committee, again chaired by police Chief Lisa Solomon, has so far received $65,000 in sponsorship commitments.
The group, now in negotiations for the bike race, will continue to pursue sponsors and fundraising sources “to ensure the event has no fiscal impact to the city,” according to city documents.
Mayor Duane Picanco voted against applying for the stage finish last week because he didn’t want to take that chance, he said. He was concerned that the city may have to pay for any potential fundraising shortfalls, he said.
AnnMarie Cornejo and Tonya Strickland contributed to this report.