Avila Beach to host 2013 Amgen Tour

November 28, 2012

The Amgen tour, the largest cycling race in the United States, will include Avila Beach as a host city in 2013.

On May 16, the fifth stage of the week-long race will begin in Santa Barbara and finish in Avila Beach.

Race promoters first approached the city of San Luis Obispo. However, city officials declined saying they could not afford the more than $100,000 cost. Pismo Beach was also in the running, but did not make a final decision before Avila Beach agreed to become one of 12 host cities.

Three local hoteliers, John King, Noreen Martin and Rob Rossi, worked with race sponsors to bring one of the world’s most popular cycling events to the Central Coast.

The race is expected to bring about 1,000 athletes, Amgen staff and media to the Central Coast along with fans who follow the race, boosting tourism spending during a seasonably slower time of the year.

It is one of the reasons the Amgen Tour delivers a powerful economic punch bringing $100 million in revenue annually to the state, said Amgen’s Vice President of Communications Michael Roth.

“It does bring enormous economic benefits and stature to the host cities,” Roth said.


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I like bike racing and I am glad the race is coming but I really do have to question whether it is worth $100K. Local businesses would have to average about $200 each from 500 out-of-area fans just to recoup it and that doesn’t count their normal expenses. Oh well, at least it is not taxpayer money (I hope).

I don’t believe the bike people pay for anything, they think this is an economic boom to where ever they show up,its nothing but a drain on our resorces, SLO didn’t want to pay out the nose for it, and shuts down highways and streets, for no reason and is a disruption in our county’s day to day business. And to put it in the tiny town of Avila is just plain dumb.

The race route will likely be a closed loop for that reason. Grandstands? Could be fun, except the traffic getting in and out. Or stick around on the beach, maybe take an exciting swim with the sealife. (except the seals!!!)

There may be a closed loop at the end but the race stage itself goes from Santa Barbara to Avila. It will be interesting to see the route through 5-cities and particularly Shell Beach. By the time they get there, I suspect that there will be more than one group of riders and they could be up to 30 minutes apart which means road closures of at least 45 minutes for those living nearby. And yeah, the traffic getting in and out will be worse than labor day weekend when they have that big concert at the country club.

Seems like a bad idea to have an event this big in little Avila with only one road in. Who has issued the permits for this? How will the bike racers get to Avila if the road is just a parking lot? And how big a bond is Amgen posting to pay for all the services needed to put this on? Will CalCoast be following up on this?

Traffic for this event won’t be a problem in Avila – unless more than 100 spectators show up.

I think that you could expect 200+ spectators even if it is pouring rain. (There were more than that for a stage ending in pouring rain in downtown SLO a few years back.) If the weather is nice, I would guess the number would be well over 1000.