May 4, 2013
There may have been times when big events caused more of a drain on Boulder’s service providers than could be offset by sales tax revenues attributable to visitors attracted by them, but event sponsors and the City have learned from the mistakes and successes in our past. We have also learned how to more effectively protect our natural resources while deriving greater economic benefit from the visitors and residents who enjoy such events.
Tourists inject “new” money into our economy, paying for rooms, meals, entertainment and products with dollars that cover employee salaries, business expenses and sales taxes for services visitors barely use (i.e., police, fire, schools, hospitals, streets, etc.). The City has learned what the costs of these events are and promoters are expected to cover them, or demonstrate convincingly that the economic benefits will outweigh them.
Unlike sales tax receipts – cold, hard, spendable cash – some of the benefits are intangible: the option we have each year to participate in (as a runner, volunteer, band member) or simply watch the Bolder Boulder; the pride residents feel when an event like last summer’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge reaches a worldwide audience, featuring scenery near and dear to our own hearts. I joined thousands of spectators on Flagstaff to cheer the riders charging up its steep, public roads – the courtesy and respect everyone showed, sticking to the trails and helping one another, was awesome to see