10/31/13 — Cycling event boosts Goldsboro economy

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Cycling event boosts Goldsboro economy

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on October 31, 2013 1:46 PM

A statewide bicycle ride that stopped overnight in Goldsboro earlier this month pumped about $100,000 into the local economy, city officials say.

The Mountains to the Coast ride brought almost 1,200 cyclists through Goldsboro the first week of October. Some camped out in Herman Park but others spent the night at local motels before pedaling on to the coast.

Each year the ride is held to promote healthy living and provide an economic boost to communities across the state -- a goal that Goldsboro Travel and Tourism Director Betsy Rosemann said was reached.

"It went fabulous," she said. "It exceeded our expectations and theirs."

Ms. Rosemann said that the cyclists and event organizers were thrilled with Goldsboro and plan to return in the coming years.

"They loved the park. They said it was the first venue with shade," she said.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard said that his department loved having the cyclists in town just as much as they loved being here.

"They cleaned up everything. Cycle NC is an amazing event," Barnard said. "They pack it in, they pack it out. The only trash left was from the catered meal and only about 300 of them used it."

Many of the cyclists had their families traveling along with them. They swamped local restaurants around the city during their stay, Ms. Rosemann said.

"They went into our downtown and spent a bunch of money there with their families," she said.

Barnard said the cleaning up the park after the riders left was no worse than cleaning it up after any normal day.

"By 10 a.m., everything was gone. I spoke to a man who was swinging his daughter and asked him if he saw the cyclists and he had no idea it happened. If he had been here a day before he might not have been able to get near the swing set. You couldn't put a foot down without stepping on a tent or a bicycle or a guy in spandex."

The ride began in Spruce Pine on Sept. 28 and ran until the cyclists rolled into Atlantic Beach on Oct. 5.