I am fully supportive of the Gran Prix, the quality of the people it brings here and what they put back into the community between the businesses that benefit and the showcasing of our City as a venue for world class events. Make no mistake about it, these athletes travel from all over the world to participate.
They have demonstrated that they leave the park in better shape than when they arrive. (Pictures don’t lie homie), and show that they are willing to listen to, and work with the powers that be to insure that people are left happy.
Race organizer Paul Boudreau writes-
In late September 2012, we had the 14th edition of the Gran Prix of Gloucester bike race at Stage Fort Park. The conditions were brutal: rain fell almost continuousy for both race days. The competitors relished racing in those conditions. For the organizers, we knew this meant more work to restore the park.
You may have heard about some of the issues the race is having via articles in the Gloucester Daily Times. There have been meetings between our organization and the City that have highlighted several issues with the way repairs have been handled. Importantly, we’ve identified some areas where communication between the City Council, the Parks Department and our organization was lacking and are doing our best to turn this situation around.
Some residents highlighted several areas where the park needs improvement. Armed now with specific, actionable items, we have every confidence that these issues have either been addressed or will be when the ground thaws and more work can begin. We’ve invested significantly more funds this year into post-event landscaping, with more to come. (We hire local landscapers Wolf Hill, by the way).
The Gran Prix of Gloucester’s mission is to take care of Stage Fort Park. We love that park. I take my own kids there. After the race, we visit the park several times a month to check the progress and ensure that conditions are improving. Each Spring, the park looks beautiful and we have not received any complaints until now.
We are committed to continue work with the Parks Department and the City Council so the park conditions are satisfactory and the event can continue.
Finally, below are some numbers about our event’s economic impact from Bentley University (they managed the data collection and tabulation for impartiality).
We had a good meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and we’re receiving some positive testimonies from area motels & inns regarding the benefits of hosting this event in Gloucester.
Race Director, Gran Prix of Gloucester
• 40% of GP Gloucester poll respondents indicated that they used accommodations other than their home prior to the race.
• The money spent on accommodations is in the range of $101-200 (19%) and $201-300 (20%)
• The number one category of spending in the city of Gloucester was on Dining.
• The average amount spent on Dining by respondents on dining was in the neighborhood of $66.
• Majority of those who participated in the Gran Prix of Gloucester are in the 30-39 and 40-49 age range (a combined 60% of participants)
The report identified that racers were not leaving the park during the race, so they weren’t buying food in town. However, all but one food vendor at GP Gloucester is from town.