Study shows that the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic provides strong economic impact for West Chester, PA
From pumping money into the economies of small towns to revitalizing disinvested areas in large cities, bike racing and cycling in general are breathing economic life into many communities throughout the United States. The borough of West Chester, PA, is a prime example of this positive economic impact.
Last August, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce presented the 13th annual Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. According to a 2017 study conducted by West Chester University’s Department of Economics and Finance on the economic impact of the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic, the iconic event generated as much as $166,194 in additional sales at local restaurants and shops from visitors attending the event. What’s especially significant, is that this number includes only out-of-town visitors attending the race, thus indicating that this economic impact was generated solely as a result of the event.
On a national level, communities host sport events for three core reasons: provide local entertainment for the community, enhance community image, and stimulate spending in the host community’s economy. “This report documents what we always felt to be the case – that the benefits of the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic extend far beyond the positive public image the borough receives and the entertainment it provides; it also proves the race creates measurable positive economic impact,” said Mark Yoder, President of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.
To summarize some of the additional key findings:
- 56% of the outside-borough visitors had come to the event for the first time.
- The average spending at local restaurants and shops was $21.86 per visitor.
- 53% spent more than $25 for food and drink.
- Over 50% of the visitors expressed an interest in each event – 52% showed interest in the Kids’ Zone; 50% were interested in the Tolsdorf Trike Challenge; 54% were interested in the Rothman Institute Amateur Criterium; 54% listed the Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium; 56% were interested in the Iron Hill Pro Men’s Criterium
- 55% had children in their travel party.
“As the only financial institution that exclusively serves Chester County, we are especially proud to be the title sponsor of an event that has such a positive impact on the community we serve, both in terms of economic impact and image,” said David LaSale, President and CEO of Benchmark Federal Credit Union.
Organized and presented by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic includes the Iron Hill Pro Men’s Criterium and Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium. Both of these pro bike-racing spectacles are brutal contests of endurance as riders fly by at break-neck speeds, shoulder-to-shoulder and wheel-to-wheel over a streetlight-lit downtown route that challenges even the most experienced riders. Before the pro men and women racers take to the streets, visitors enjoy an afternoon of family-fun activities that include the Tolsdorf Trike Challenge, West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race, Rothman Institute Amateur Criterium, My Benefit Advisor Kids’ Zone with children’s games and inflatables, a Community Festival as well as great shopping opportunities throughout the historic town.
Details of all the day’s activities can be found at www.GreaterWestChester.com.
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About the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic:
At 3:30 P.M. the first bikes take to the streets at the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic for the West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race for children between the ages of 3 and 10. Immediately following at 4:30 p.m., the popular Tolsdorf Trike Challenge takes place, where adults compete on tricycles. The series of exciting heats pits businesses, organizations and any group of five against each other for bragging rights and valuable prizes.
The aforementioned Rothman Institute Amateur Criterium takes place at 5:45 p.m. followed by the Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium at 6:45 p.m. This 40K race will once again attract top pro female riders from around the country and beyond. At 8 p.m. one of the most important professional cycling races on the East Coast, the 75K Iron Hill Pro Men’s Criterium, hits the streets of historic West Chester to close out the evening.
In addition to bike racing, the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic features many family friendly activities, including the My Benefit Advisor Kids’ Zone with giant inflatables and children’s activities, as well as the Community Festival where visitors will find a wide assortment of shopping booths with all the latest “must-haves,” and a non-stop, party-like ambiance. More refreshments will be available at the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Beer Garden.
The Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic is sponsored by the Benchmark Federal Credit Union.
About Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, located in the heart of Chester County, PA is a membership based not-for-profit organization providing resources, advocacy and educational opportunities to help local businesses and entrepreneurs build relationships, promote their business, grow their network, address their most serious business challenges and become an integral part of the community. www.GreaterWestChester.com