From Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Chairman of the Missouri Tourism Commission:
By now, some of you may have heard rumors regarding Gov. Nixon freezing state funds for the 2009 Tour of Missouri. I would like to share with you the details that we currently have:
On Wednesday, at the close of business, I was informed by the Division of Tourism that the money set aside for the Tour of Missouri was frozen by Gov. Nixon’s administration. The state’s commitment for the 2009 Tour of Missouri was $1.5 million. Without these funds, which are available and approved by the Tourism Commission, the Tour of Missouri will cease to exist.
At this time, I have requested a special meeting of the Missouri Tourism Commission to evaluate our options and decide what our next step should be.
As you know, we are very close to putting the final touches on the race this year. Our sponsors have invested and we are on track with our fundraising goals. Teams from across the world, the same teams now racing in the Tour de France, have been invited to our state, and communities across Missouri are making great preparations for the race. Contracts have been signed by the state, cities, sponsors and vendors and cutting this funding will leave the state susceptible to wasteful litigation.
Right now, I am urging cycling fans across our great state, and around the world to contact Gov. Jay Nixon at 573-751-3222 and tell him to release the funding for the largest sporting event ever held in our state.
I am grateful for the supporters, sponsors, volunteers and spectators who in the past two years have helped generate nearly $60 million in economic impact for our state, and brought over 800,000 visitors to the race.
With your help, I truly believe we can ensure the survival and success of the 2009 Tour of Missouri.
You can also contact Governor Nixon via email.
It would be a true shame to lose such a high-profile event, after it’s been proven to be huge moneymaker for the state of Missouri as a whole. Please let your opinion be heard!
Additional coverage: SaveTheTourOfMissouri.com, Peter Kinder interview with KMOX, Missouri Bicycle Federation, KCBike.info, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Springfield News-Leader, Kansas City Star, or @savethetour on Twitter