SRS Cyclists Impact City Economically

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By Catalina Trivino

Day two has wrathe Capital of Dreams Bicycle Race... an event hailing hundreds of cyclists from all over the nation to Montgomery -- but how successful is this first time race for bringing in revenue to the city?

"It's been great. Really a surprise for us," Said Mark McNees, who has driven from Tallahassee, Florida -- and he's talking about the city of Montgomery and all it has to offer to its visitors.

McNees is one of hundreds who are in town over the weekend. He's supporting more than 400 cyclists shredding pavement across the capital city at the Southeast Regional Series Capital of Dream Bicycle Race.

And even as a first-time race, McNees says he's been pleased with what he's seen so far in Montgomery.

"We've been enjoying the culinary experience here, the people have been great, I've been really impressed by the beer selection at all the restaurants, the local breweries, some things like that," Said McNees.

 

And city leaders aren't complaining either -- they say this race is good national exposure for Montgomery. They estimate about 90 percent of cyclists are from out of town.

"The vast majority of those people are from out of state, you know, families coming in, not just a racer, families coming in, not just a racer, we're having a racer with a wife or kids or with mom or dad that are coming in and spending the weekend in Montgomery," Said Superintendent of Riverfront facilities, Tom Pierce

Which means while they are here, cyclists are eating, sleeping and playing in Montgomery.

The Comfort Inn and Suites off Chantlily Parkway in Montgomery is where most cyclists were told they could get a package deal, but front desk manager, Kiara Lynum, says she anticipated more people to stay the night.

"This was supposed to be the main hotel and I think maybe they were just spread out, there's a lack of communication," Said Lynum. "But we did have a pretty good number here and I don't know... maybe they stayed downtown."

She says they expected to book the whole hotel this weekend, but only had about 30 people from the cycling race stay.

Montgomery is just one of five stops for the Southeast Regional Series. There's only two left after this weekend including Knoxville Tennessee, and Greenville, South Carolina.

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