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Tour of California Costs

Original post made by Not so fast on Apr 17, 2008

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One reason I can think of why the cost of the race have been kept a secret is that the city has a big deficit on their hands from the race.
Money that we really cannot afford to lose.

At least Yoriko got to wear her new Lycra biking outfit.

Comments (18)

Posted by fireman, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:14 am

Stanford pays its own bill.. It is a PRIVATE business..

Once again Palo Alto is PUBLIC, so stick the PUBLIC with the BILL.

Again, ONCE AGAIN. The real true and whole story is not what the LEADER told you. They forgot parts of the whole story again.
Well just the important parts.

Hey next year the streets will be so bad. The City might have a mountain bike race down the streets and sidewalks of PALO ALTO.

Add the $67,000.00 to the 455 million.

4,617,000.00 and counting.... I think if you want a true real number?

Look at 1 BILLION...$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Posted by joel, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:16 am




Running the Feb. 17 event cost Palo Alto $67,000 - mostly police, public works and overtime costs, Benest said. On the Stanford side, the tab was slightly more than $100,000 for public safety and security costs, as well as permits, insurance, clean-up of Palm Drive, parking staff and equipment for a bike valet service, said spokesman Matthew Bahls.


This is an outrageous waste of public funds-- never again--




Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:19 am




I liked the ironic understatement by Stanford about this fiasco

<But while most spectators and local planners agreed the event was enjoyable and well-organized, the race may not be the vital promotional tool its national sponsors make it seem.

"Worldwide recognition for Stanford? You know, I think we might have what we need already," said university spokeswoman Jean McCown. She said the university was evaluating whether it wants to co-host the race next year.>




Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

I think this was always more about what Palo alto would get out of it--our climate change leaders had visions of everyone ditching their cars for bikes after the race and millions of tourists pouring into PA to walk the route that the bikers took.

also this once again illustrates how when PA wants something from Stanford, they can play nice--another recent example is the "destination Palo Alto" boondogle, where Palo Alto is trying to draw tourists to twon using Stanford as a place for them to go to.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:39 am

Easy fix. If this finally put Palo Alto on the map, charge it to the $240,000 Destination Palo Alto fund.

Funny thing, though. Destination PA is supposed to bring everyone to our town, but this event was all about a bunch of people leaving town in a hurry. Can somebody please explain that?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:15 am

This event was a one off event and many of the extras was because something like this was new and costs were higher than if this happened frequently. Even if this became an annual occurance, it would still cost more than if we had events like this on say a monthly basis.

So it would seem to me that we need to practice for events like these by having more of them, then the costs would go down. So, how about conventions every other week, we could host gymnastics, or swimming, or how about building a big ski slope!!

Joking aside, the more conventions that we can attract, the easier it would be to host these events. The infrastructure that would be needed would be ready to go and those employed to clean streets or sell popcorn would be ready to go in advance and the likelihood is that we would just get used to it and learn how to bypass the problems, like on Stanford football days.


Posted by J, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:40 am

I think it should also be recognized that events are brought to cities to create an economic impact. There is increased revenue to be had. Restaurants, hotels, etc. all benefit and increase money into Palo Alto. Before you completely write it off, look at the other side. Large scaled events bring in money. It would be interesting to hear from businesses to see how they were impacted during this weekend.


Posted by joel, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:46 am



Local merchants lost money because the roads were closed for sometime around the event all that was sold was a few sodas and ice creams

If companies want these events for their brands and marketing they should pay the costs or we should charge admission-- probably both so we could make some profit





Posted by WhatsTheFuss?, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:48 am

The story in the web link describes how the costs to the city are offset by fees contributed by the organizing committee and the incresed revenues generated by hotel taxes. For some world-class visibility that the Tour generated for Palo Alto, I'd say it worked out well for the city. What's all the whining about?


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:53 am

Quote from the story:

"Frank Benest said the prologue's organizers may have succeeded in covering its costs when tax from hotels is added into the calculations."

The key words are "may have". Will we ever know for sure? and if we know will it be the truth?

Why has been kept such a secret for months? To cook the books or re-do the math so the city comes up without a loss?

Give our city hall, who knows


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

Promotional events are generally good far a city, if they are well run.

That said, there MUST be metric measurement and systems in place to establish true impact (getting as close to all variables as possible). Without that, it's just guessing. We don't know the full positive impact, we can only guess.

Did we come out in the positive? Maybe, maybe not.

That said, the "Destination Palo Alto" initiative should be compelled to be absolutely rigorous in its measurement of costs AND benefits. Those put in charge of this mandate should be tasked with *creating and using* those measurement tools. Anything else is irresponsible, and not in keeping with the careful diligence of public funds.

Milestones not met don't have to be a reason for stopping something. If we have tools to measure impact, we can use those tools to make adjustments to failure. If that doesn't work, THEN we can think about challenging a service. Until then, it's all guesswork, and cause for community dissension.

We can do better than that.


Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I love how Joel just makes things up- "local bussiness lost money, just sold soda and ice cream". What a bunch of bull! I talked to local bussiness and they were thrill buy the sales in and around downtown before and during the bike race. Talk to the Apple Store- they did a fantasic! So did most resturants and hotels.
This was a good thing for our city. Bought in money and only closed a few roads on one day for about 12 hours.
Not a loser like the auto race in San Jose.


Posted by Fireman, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 2:06 pm

The Apple store?? Bike racers hit the apple store?? How did the Bike stores do??

Sounds like any sales that day in all of Palo Alto were because of the Bike Race??? or maybe it was just a nice day and people went shopping....YA think that might have something to do with it?

The point is that once again the CITIZENS were only told what the CITY MAMAGER and COUNCIL think makes them look good.

How did the CARBON foot print for this race look?


Posted by T, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I can't speak for anyone else's spending that day, but my household spent $200 and it wasn't for soda or ice cream. A good portion of our expenditure was flash cards for the digital camera. So we patronized a University Avenue camera shop, not a bike shop. I cannot say whether or not bike race attendees patronized the Apple Store that day. But if the numbers give that impression, it might actually be true.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:32 pm

No doubt that city businesses profited from the race. The job that the upcoming "Destination Palo Alto" group has is to do the diligence (for instance, by sampling businesses for comparative sales receipts) so that we can measure impact.

Here's hoping that that's part of the DPA mandate.


Posted by Fireman, a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2008 at 7:05 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 18, 2008 at 10:03 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by dave, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Too many times our leaders decide to fund an undertaking, whether a tunnel at Homer or a bicycle tour or a destination Palo Alto effort, or????. Yet as Mike says, we need a way to measure the success of the effort instead of emotionally saying it's a good idea. Sure, there are many good ideas, but the City (us) is limited in its resources (money).

I still can't understand how "The Color of Palo Alto" benefited us. What was the cost to put all those pictures on the front of City Hall? One can't see the houses more than six or seven feet off the ground. And how much will it take to take the pictures down?

Before we support another tour. let's do some serious thinking about the cost and benefits. I note that Stanford is having second thoughts.


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