Bike ride expected to generate $1 million for Grand Valley economy

An annual bicycle ride is expected to generate more than $1 million for the Grand Valley economy when the event returns in October.

The Icon Lasik Tour of the Moon generated an estimated $950,000 in local economic benefits in 2013, and that estimate is projected to top $1 million in 2014. At $890,000, tourism revenue is expected to account for most of the revenue, with local vendor income and donations to nonprofit groups accounting for the remainder.

The 2014 Icon Lasik Tour of the Moon Grand Cycling Classic is scheduled for Oct. 4. The 62-mile ride will include a trip through the Colorado National Monument, a scenic segment first made famous in the Coors Classic bicycle race in the 1980s.

“Continuing a longstanding tradition of cycling on the Western Slope, Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument continue to be gracious hosts of the Icon Lasik Tour of the Moon, drawing cyclists from around the country to experience the beauty and hospitality the Grand Valley offers,” said Scot Harris of Rocky Mountain Events, co-producer of the ride along with Event Marketing Group.

The 2014 ride is limited to 2,000 registered participants. Cyclists from more than 40 states are expected to ride in the event.

Along with the anticipated tourism revenue from participants visiting and staying in the Grand Valley, the organizers of the Tour of the Moon plan to pay about $110,000 to local companies and municipalities for various services. As part of registration, cyclists each pay $10 that’s split between the Colorado River Front Commission and Bicycle Colorado. Other nonprofit groups also receive funding in exchange for their assistance at the event.