Lt Gov. Kinder talking up 2009 Tour of Missouri in St. Joseph

The St. Joseph News-Press has an article today about Lt Governor Peter Kinder's recent visit to St. Joseph:
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder made St. Joseph’s participation in the Tour of Missouri official Tuesday.

Speaking to a small group at St. Joseph’s City Hall with a backdrop of several large sponsor banners, Mr. Kinder crowed about the national and international attention the professional bicycle race has brought to the state.

St. Joseph, which hosted the start of the seven-stage, week-long race last year, will host the end of stage six on Sept. 12. Stage six begins in Chillicothe, whose community, according to Mr. Kinder, is “on fire” over being involved in this year’s race.

Mr. Kinder said despite several days of rain last year, which might have kept supporters from coming out, an estimated 434,000 were in attendance over the seven days of the event. In 2007, the crowds were estimated at 367,000. Mr. Kinder said Tuesday that it would be “bigger and better” this year.

According to Mr. Kinder, marketing surveys taken during the previous years’ events show that spectators are more affluent, stay longer, and spend more money than the average tourist in Missouri. The economic impact estimates were $26.2 million in 2007 and $29.8 million last year. That number is expected to grow this year.