We are strong believers in Bicycle Tourism. While Redlands is not a rural community, like many small towns, it does rely heavily on retail sales and individuals spending discretionary money in the city. Along these lines, Redlands is positioning itself to be a destination city. This obviously supports local businesses which employ residents as well as providing sales tax to fund much of the civic budget. Given that, we would like to see bicycle tourism added to the consideration as a viable economic benefit to our community!
In additional to hospitality and general retail, there are several bicycle-related businesses also located in town, including two retail bicycle stores, a bicycle parts wholesaler, an athletic clothing & shoe company, and a community bicycle repair and education source.
With this in mind, we wanted to see what kind of a financial benefit a one day cycling event would have on our community. A survey was sent out to all the registered participants of the 2015 Redlands Strada Rossa. Our goal was to find out approximately how much money was spent IN Redlands specifically, but also to highlight the amount of money that recreational cyclists spend in general.
We also used this opportunity to seek out suggestions for improving the event, as well as to find out the things that really worked on this one!
Lastly, we asked how many respondents would come back to Redlands for another bicycle-related event.
All questions and results can be seen by following this public link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-86ZVFMJ9/
We compiled the responses from the survey, and came up with the following results:
- The 55 respondents spent a total of $11,060 specifically related to the RSR. That could include anything from nutrition, tires, a bicycle frame, gas and lodging, etc.
- That $11,060 total averages to $201 per respondent!
- We went on to ask how much of that was spent specifically in the City of Redlands. The total which included food ($1,462), lodging ($605) and the catch-all "other" category ($2288) adds up to $4,355.
- That in turn averages to $79.18 being spent per person in Redlands.
- Nearly 40% of total expenditures were made in Redlands.
From these responses, we can safely state that the Redlands Strada Rossa, a one-day event that charged a minimal amount to participate ($25 per person) and was produced with volunteer time, money and generosity, brought $4,355 into our community!
If we take a moment and extrapolate that average to all registered participants, we can project what the overall impact was. There were 135 people who registered and paid for the ride. If each one of them spent that average of $79.18 in Redlands, a total of $10,689 came into our community!
Imagine that. A one day, recreational event bringing in over $10,000 to a town. There is an incentive to have one monthly! Not only does recreational bike riding encourage trail procurement and use, it benefits both local businesses and the larger community financially.
Finally, to tie this all together, please notice question five on the survey. We asked if the respondents plan to return to Redlands for future rides. An amazing 100% of them said yes! And you can be sure they will spend some money here when they do!