[ General ]

Tour of Missouri will Return to Branson

Branson will, once again, grab a part of the cycling world spotlight in 2008.

“Branson has the unique opportunity once again to host the Tour of Missouri Time Trial on Sept. 10. If you combine world-class cycling along with our live entertainment, outdoor and lake recreation and our famous Ozarks hospitality, this really sets Branson apart,” said Ross Summers, President/CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

On Wednesday, Gov. Matt Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announced the itinerary for the 2008 Tour of Missouri. The tour, spanning seven days and 623 miles, will begin Sept. 8 with a 90-mile road race from St. Joseph to Kansas City. Rolla, St. James, and Herman have been added as new stops but the Tour will return to Clinton, Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Jefferson City, and St. Charles before concluding beneath the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Last year’s Tour of Missouri had an economic impact of $26.2 million, demonstrating its value and benefits to Missouri. The estimated turnout was 367,566.

“The Tour of Missouri was an enormous success and generated a wave of energy that traveled across our state for a superb week of fun, entertainment and economic benefit,” Kinder said. “The Tour was six action-packed days of international professional cycling that was enjoyed by thousands of out-of-state visitors and by Missourians of all ages.”

Kinder said he anticipates the state’s share of race costs to again hover near the $1 million mark. He also expressed optimism that the race could attract a corporate title sponsor, something it lacked last year.“We expect to have more (corporate support) than last year and at a higher value,” he said.

Information courtesy of Branson Daily News