H-AVILA BEACH

May 17, 2013 9:50 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Lower turnout than expected for Amgen Bike Tour in Avila Beach

Months of planning flew by in minutes on Thursday after the cyclists cross the finish line on Front Street in Avila Beach. Many businesses said they flourished, and other didn't, but race organizers still called the event successful, projecting long term benefits for the city.

Officials said there were between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators at the Amgen race, less than half of what was originally projected.

Christopher King, the general manager of the Avila La Fonda Hotel said normally they fill close to capacity during this time of the year, but he said yesterday the crowds didn't stick around. King said they only booked 9 out of 28 rooms.

But, despite the slow business, he said they look forward to a long term gain- world exposure they received from Amgen.

The Avila Beach Civic Association said the Amgen Tour was so much more than just one day.

"This is spring, summer's coming, and we know that there will be an overflow of people here, so this is just a way for the world to know we're here and what we have to offer," said Mary Foppiano, the executive director of the Avila Beach Civic Association.

San Luis Obispo County 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill said less was more anyway. He said the smaller crowd allowed for a better flow. He said even though they did project 7,500 people to show up, they really had no idea what to expect, since this was the first go around in Avila Beach.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office said there were no incidents to report.

The county said it plans on holding an Amgen Tour follow-up meeting next month to get feedback from Avila Beach business owners. Organizers will then evaluate whether they want to try to get the race again next year.

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