Visit Bend Brings National Events to Bend

 – and with them, big dollars for local non-profits:

Long after the 3,600 athletes and fans from the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships have packed up their bikes and gone home, local residents and tourists will enjoy the gifts they left behind, including  groomed Nordic ski trails, a new community park, and even arts education for kids.

Though it’s easy to see the immediate financial impact of the $1.3 million infused into the local economy during the event,  several local non-profits are benefitting well beyond that. In negotiating the business model for Cyclo-Cross Nationals, Visit Bend allocated several of the events’ revenue streams to local non-profits doing good work in the community.

“Anytime Visit Bend brings a major event to our city, we look for ways we can use the proceeds to benefit non-profits doing work that supports both the tourism industry and Bend residents ” said Doug La Placa, CEO for Visit Bend, the organization responsible for bringing Cyclo-Cross Nationals to Bend. “While the initial economic impact of these events is quite visible, we’re committed to making these events contribute to non-profits doing work that benefits Bend in the long-term.”

The primary beneficiary for the 2010 Cyclo-Cross Nationals is the Tumalo Langlauf Club, a local not-for profit dedicated to cultivating winter recreation opportunities for both tourists and locals at the Virginia Meisner snow park.  Dale Navish, board president for Tumalo Langlauf said the group is thrilled to put the $16,000 gift from Cyclocross Nationals to use helping with trail maintenance and paying for a portion of a new warming hut to enhance the recreation experience at Virginia Meissner.

“The winter trails managed by the Tumalo Langlauf Club are Oregon’s second most utilized for both locals and tourists,” Navish noted. “Having a place where people can go and recreate inexpensively and be social and see nature is a valuable thing for any community and tourist destination, so we’re grateful to Visit Bend for supporting that mission.”

Another $4,000 in Cyclo-Cross Nationals proceeds will go to the Miller’s Landing Project, which is raising money to purchase a parcel of land on the Deschutes River for use as a community park.

It’s an especially appropriate gift, since the Miller’s Landing park will be an attractive spot for Bend visitors looking to spend time on the river. “The gift from Visit Bend and Cyclocross Nationals is a huge benefit, especially this time of year with our fund-raising deadline approaching,” explained project manager Kristin Kovalik. “This is the last undeveloped riverfront property in Bend, and we’re excited the community and tourists will be able to benefit from it.”

Visit Bend also opted to offer merchandising rights at Cyclo-Cross Nationals to local non-profit Rise Up International. The group sold hats and shirts at the event and succeed in raising almost $3,000 for local art, music, humanities, events, and classes.

Visit Bend wasn’t the only organization using Cyclo-Cross Nationals as a way to improve the community. Deschutes Brewery got in on the charitable action as well, with their ‘Cross Nats Blowout Bash party the Saturday of the event. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Bend’s Community Bike Shed, which helps people learn to maintain and repair their own bikes while serving the needs of homeless, low-income, and others who depend on their bikes for transportation.

“The 2010 Cyclo-Cross Nationals race turned out to be wildly successful for Bend,” La Placa added. “We’re looking forward to bringing more of these kinds of events to town and using them to support the good work of non-profits in line with our mission of supporting the Bend community and our tourism industry.”

About Visit Bend:
Visit Bend is a non-membership, non-profit economic development organization dedicated to promoting tourism on behalf of the City of Bend.  For more information or to order a complimentary Official Visitor’s Guide to Bend, contact Visit Bend at 1-800-949-6086 or visit www.visitbend.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2010

Contact: Tawna Fenske, Visit Bend, 541-382-8048, tawna@visitbend.com
Doug LaPlaca, Visit Bend, 541-382-8048, doug@visitbend.com