Online story by Scott Wyant
Video story by Nicholas Nightingale
RICHMOND, Va. – In 2015 the River City is set to host the World Bicycling Championships. As that date comes closer Richmond is running out of time to prepare the city for the race.
With the event projected to bring in 450,000 tourists to the area, the economic boom should be significant. But, the city only has about 18,000 hotel rooms and what critics consider inadequate parking and public transportation options.
A private campaign named Richmond 2015 has begun to raise funds for the event.
Dave Saunders, a marketing expert from Madison+Main, believes the city has time to meet the needs of the race.
“I think the folks at Richmond 2015 are doing a great job. They’re pulling people in – they’ve got the right people in place – they have a great idea,” Saunders said. “But again, it goes to this greater, broader sense of regional cooperation. Who’s going to lead it?”
That’s where Saunders believes the city should step in and help not only for the good of the race but also for the city as a whole.
“From a branding standpoint, this is our opportunity to shine,” Saunders said. “This is a time to tell the world Richmond’s not this sleepy little city in the South anymore, that it can take this international stage.”