Visit Bentonville to support biking events, among others
BENTONVILLE — The Advertising and Promotions Commission approved spending $75,400 to help 13 events showing promise of bringing tourism dollars to the city at its meeting Thursday.
Five of those are bicycling related, and two of those five will be this year.
GPP Cycling will hold a gravel ride Oct. 20 and 21. There will be a 50-mile and a 100-mile loop bikers can ride, Nick Little, event organizer said. He expects 500 people to participate.
Visit Bentonville will give organizers $3,500 for the event to help diversify Bentonville’s biking events as most are geared to mountain biking, Visit Bentonville staff said.
Commissioners also approved giving $1,500 to the first Pedaler’s Bash hosted by Pedaler’s Pub and Garver race team.
The 50- mile marathon mountain bike race will be at Slaughter Pen and the Back 40 trail systems Dec. 31. It will be one in a five-race series through out the year, according to the application. The race will be capped at 250 participants.
The event will help Bentonville continue to brand itself as a destination for year-round riding, said Andrea Ritchie with Bike Bentonville.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association will be back in 2018 to hold its first Uprising event, which will bring women from across the biking industry together, according to the funding request. The event will be held in March, about a year and a half after the organization brought in more than 500 for its World Summit in Bentonville.
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association — or NICA — will hold its national conference in Bentonville on June 13. Arkansas’ chapter completed its first league season last year and is one of 19 state leagues in the country, according to event organizers.
Visit Bentonville allotted $7,500 for each of those two events.
The fifth cycling event Visit Bentonville will give money to — $ 7,500 — is Public Land Solution’s Prosperous Communities Conference in the fall 2018.
The purpose of the conference is to highlight how Bentonville has prospered through investments in “recreation assets and public land,” according to the funding application. Attendance is expected to be between 400 to 500 people.
Commissioners also approved $2,500 for the Cool Water Music Festival in September, $1,000 to the Church of God’s annual conference, $1,500 for Cruising the Ozarks car show in October, $7,500 for an arm-wrestling championship in January, $10,000 for Bentonville High School’s marching band invitational in October 2018, and $25,400 for three softball tournaments.