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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Argus Observer: Ontario Businesses Say Bike Race Drives Away Revenues

Posted By on Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Some businesses in Ontario, Ore., wouldn't mind if an annual bike race hosted by the Eastern Oregon city suffered a flat tire.

This morning's Ontario Argus Observer reports that the Tour of Ontario Criterium is coming under intense scrutiny from some downtown Ontario business owners who complain that the race has cost them a "significant amount of money." In fact, a number of the business owners stood before the Ontario City Council Jan. 2 to complain.

"It completely shut down my business," Michael Eldredge, owner of an Ontario furniture store, told the Council. "It's unacceptable."

Organizers said 158 racers came to Ontario for the 2013 event, generating revenues for area retailers, hotels and restaurants, and had the full support of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The Argus Observer's Christina Marfice reports that Ontario Mayor LeRoy Cammack tried to mediate the dispute.

"If it takes a route change, a schedule change, whatever it is to make them OK with this, come back with that and we'll make the decision," said Cammack.

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