Tulsa Tough brings millions to local economy

TULSA - The Tulsa Tough is back in town, bringing in thousands of fans. City officials say it's a huge boost to the local economy.

With the bike race going on right outside their door, Lee's Bicycles is gearing up for big business this weekend.

"During the Tulsa Tough we'll have pro racers coming in. They need parts, they need accessories, they need our mechanical staff to fix their bikes and get them up and running," says Sales Manager Jason Kearney.

This is the sixth year for the race. Organizers say they had no idea it would grow to be such an international event. This year there are 1,500 cyclists, plus their families.  This means more people in hotels, stores, and restaurants.

"We always visit coffee shops. That's one big thing that cyclists like to do and also eating out. We always eat out at some point," says cyclist Anne Samplonius.

Many businesses say this event brings in the most foot traffic all year. Organizers say hosting the race is a great investment for Tulsa.

"We've been told the economic impact of the event is somewhere in the $1.5 to $2 million range," says Executive Director Malcolm McCollam.

It doesn't stop there because people who see the race often end up buying their own bikes. Many say Tulsa Tough provides a win-win situation for the cycling world and the city.

"When they come in to Tulsa, they're bringing their wallets, they're spending their money and that's good. It's what we want," says Kearney.

The races run through Sunday. For the schedule, just click on this link www.tulsatough.com/about/


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