Impact of cycling tourism in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Impact of cycling tourism in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Bicycle tourism is booming business in Tucson.  It's not just during El Tour de Tucson.

Local advocates say El Tour may bring them to Tucson, but many of these tourists are choosing to come back, and even buy homes here in the area.

According to a study done by students at the Eller College of Management in partnership with Pima County, officials said they found the economic impact of cycling to be right behind the Gem Show in Tucson.

The Visit Tucson website indicated that the Gem Show had an economic impact of about $100 Million in Tucson.

Officials with El Tour de Tucson said the race weekend brought in about $20 Million into the local economy, but year round, studies indicated the impact of cycling tourism was closer to $70 Million, in Tucson.

Damion Alexander, a real estate agent who specialized in showing homes through bicycle tours said many of his clients were moving here, specifically because of the biking trails in our community.

Alexander said trails like the Loop, and rides to destinations like Mt. Lemmon, along with the weather were big draws.

Alexander said cycling enthusiasts flocked to Tucson between the months of October through May.  It wasn't just El Tour de Tucson, but Alexander said they had cycling events every week in the winter months.

He also saw many professional athletes and Olympian using Tucson trails as their training ground.

El Tour officials said the partnership with the Special Olympics would only boost Tucson's reputation for being a bike friendly city, and draw global attention to Tucson.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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