Benefits of RAGBRAI still rolling in
AMES, IOWA – 25,000 cyclists rode in and out of Ames almost three months ago, but the dividends keep paying off for the community.
RAGBRAI – The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – selected Ames as an overnight stop in the early part of 2018. As plans were made to host thousands of cyclists, support teams, entertainers and guests, organizers knew the event would provide an excellent opportunity to showcase Ames to people from around the country and well beyond. However, the tourism promotion was not the only benefit. This month RAGBRAI co-chairs Jeff Johnson (ISU Alumni Association) and Kelsey Bolton-Carper (Friedrich Iowa Realty / Campus Cycle) presented a check of $5,576.74 to The Ames Miracle Playground and Field from funds donated by RAGBRAI participants.
Julie Weeks, President and CEO of the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau (Bureau), explains, “RAGBRAI is more than a great state tradition and athletic challenge. It’s an opportunity to communicate and raise awareness of the things that are important to Iowans and the individual communities along the route.” Weeks continued, “The Ames Miracle Playground and Field is a priority for our community, and we were happy for the platform to herald the necessity of an attraction like this in Central Iowa.” Throughout the event spaces on July 24, donation buckets were placed where riders, volunteers and other guests could contribute to the cause.
In addition to the monetary donation, RAGBRAI’s Ames passage opened doors to raise awareness and funding for other non-profit organizations and programs including Food at First, God’s Mercy to Haiti and a handful of area churches who participated as official event vendors.
“It’s easy to think of RAGBRAI as an athletic challenge or even as a big party, but it’s always been much more than that,” says Weeks. “RAGBRAI has always been about Iowa – its culture, communities and people.”
The Bureau submitted a proposal to be one of the overnight host locations for RAGBRAI XLVI in the fall of 2017.
Eve Lederhouse, Communications Director
Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau
515-232-4032 | firstname.lastname@example.org