2010 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Another Success Story For Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, June 30------The 88th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday proved to be a success both on the 12.42-mile course and everywhere else again as the event continued to gain traction and popularity regionally and nationally.
Bob Gillis, Chairman of the Board of the nation's second-oldest motorsports event behind the Indianapolis 500, said that revenue reached a new high, and the city garnered significant economic impact and exposure during the week.
"We are extremely pleased with how our event was staged, and with the positive reaction of fans, sponsors, media and most importantly, the 169 drivers and racers who came to Colorado Springs to challenge the mountain," said Gillis.
Japan's Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima won the Unlimited division for the fifth time, but failed in his effort to crack the elusive ten-minute mark. But seven new records were established and one tied during almost perfect weather conditions on the mountain.
"Final figures won't be available to us for awhile, but what we know at this point is that ticket revenue is at $115,380, compared to $113,130 last year. Sunday's numbers tell us now that there were as many as 5,000 spectators viewing the race along the course," Gillis added. "And, our merchandise sales this year more than doubled to $15,721, compared to $7,100 last year."
Souvenir program sales increased to $3,285 at the Peak's toll both from the 2009 total of $2,574. The popular Family Four-Pack discounted ticket option (four general admission tickets for $125) was well-received again, with 222 packages purchased.
Gillis reported that some 35,000 fans were downtown on Friday night, June 25, for the Fan Fest, which featured the chance for fans to see and speak with many of the racers and drivers, along with seeing their autos and motorcycles. The five-hour event, sponsored by Budweiser, included live music, food and a variety of entertainment activities.
Colorado Springs Sports Corporation President and CEO Tom Osborne said that the event's partner hotels, the Crowne Plaza, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Hyatt Place and the Colorado Springs Marriott, were filled to capacity with fans and officials.
"There was definitely a buzz again this year," said Osborne, "and I think it will just get better each summer now. This event is one of the most unique in the world, and now, more and more fans, media and sponsors are hearing about it and are excited to be part of it."
Media coverage of the race continued its strong recent trend, with reporters and television crews from Great Britain and Japan in the city, along with national exposure in USA Today, the Associated Press, and more than two dozen national and international motorsport websites.
Local media attention was also at an all-time high, according to Osborne, with daily coverage and reports in The Gazette, as well as television outlets in both cities. The Denver Post ran a Sports section front-page feature and pictures on 16-year-old driver Savannah Rickli, the youngest competitor to reach the summit in the history of the race.
Gillis lauded the race sponsors and suppliers for their strong support, including a roster of businesses that included TCI Tire Centers, Hankook Tires, Budweiser, The Gazette, KRDO, Discount Tire, Ducati, KILO 94.3, RXP 103.9, Culver's, Heuberger Motors, Porsche of Colorado Springs, Intellitec Colleges, Phil Long, Falken Tire, Race Central TV, Altitude Sports, and The Broadmoor Hotel.
"They are the backbone of the race, and we are indebted to these community partners for their support and loyalty," said Gillis.