Tour of Walla Walla, the bicycle stage race tradition of two decades, is back on track after cancellation last year.
More than 300 competitors are registered for this weekend’s races, which take place over three days, starting Friday.
Race coordinators Michael and Kathryn Austin got a boost with some assistance in marketing from Visit Walla Walla after last year’s race was sidelined from the devastatingly long winter and its effects on travel.
“Visit Walla Walla got involved with this as soon as it was canceled last year because we were so disappointed that an event that brings in so many people went to the wayside,” Visit Executive Director Ron Williams said.
With registrations in the past as high as 40, the 307 who had registered by late Wednesday morning was an encouraging sign of success, Williams said. About 300 registrations have been needed in previous years for a break-even event, which includes prize money for respective winners in their categories.
About 450 people are expected in town for the races, which include Saturday’s downtown Criterium and road closures through central portions of the neighborhood.
Williams said Visit Walla Walla marketing agency DVA Advertising & Public Relations helped with email marketing and paid social media advertising targeted toward cycling enthusiasts.
Visit also created a “landing” page to link participants with schedules, critical information and other activities of interest for those coming to support racers.
See the original story by Vicki Hillhouse in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin here.
Pay disparity between men and women is an issue that has not gone away. The 2017 Cascade Cycling Classic, the longest consecutively run elite stage race in the country, is not immune. The Elite Men’s overall winner was scheduled to earn a $2,951 payday for his efforts during the five-day stage race. The Elite Women’s winner was to receive $225 for the same effort over the same five days.
As a result of this disparity, DVA Advertising & Public Relations set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the top three overall elite female finishers in the 2017 race, with a goal of raising $15,954 – the difference between the total Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s prize purses.
“What kind of message does it send to young women who might be interested in cycling, that their male counterparts are earning more than 13 times the amount of prize money for the same or similar effort?” said Justin Yax, a partner at DVA Advertising & Public Relations. “As an agency of cyclists, and as fans of the sport and its importance to the Central Oregon community, we felt there was an opportunity to step in and help out where the UCI was restricting the good intentions of race organizers.”
To the credit of race organizers, the Cascade Cycling Classic has distributed equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s elite winners for the past six years. in 2017, due to restrictions placed on the distribution of prize money by the International Cycling Union (UCI), race organizers had little flexibility when establishing the following prize money payouts for the Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s overall winners:
All money DVA raised was distributed to the top three overall Elite Female finishers, proportionate to the current payout amounts. The first place overall finisher received 45 percent of the money raised, the second place finisher received 33 percent, and third place received 22 percent.
We kicked off the fundraising effort with an initial contribution of $500, and hopes other individuals and organizations throughout Central Oregon and beyond will see this as an opportunity to help level the playing field, so to speak, with regard to this year’s Cascade Cycling Classic. In the end, more than $15,000 was added to the women’s prize purse, including $6,500 in community donations. More importantly, our efforts were noticed by UCI President, Brian Cookson.
“We are hopeful this fundraising effort will send a clear message to all the women competing in the 2017 Cascade Cycling Classic that they are appreciated, respected, and valued,” said Yax. “Gender equality and pay disparity continue to plague this country, and the more awareness we can bring to the issue, the better. The outpouring of support has been nothing short of remarkable, in the first 24 hours alone we received more than 70 donations ranging in size from $10 to $1,000. And perhaps more importantly, the community is engaged in an important conversation about equality.”
The Outdoor Industry Association recently published a study we found very interesting.
“Investments in outdoor recreation on public lands and waters earn compounding returns in the form of healthier communities, healthier economies and healthier people.
More than 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt foresaw the crossroads at which we now stand. He said, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets that it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”
From our national parks to local green spaces, from alpine lakes to transcontinental rivers, America’s outdoor recreation assets are its citizens’ common trust. Our public lands and waterways belong to every American, and they are the backbone of our outdoor recreation economy. They hold the promise of prosperity and well-being. It is as much our responsibility to invest in them as it is our right to enjoy them.
From the smallest rural towns to the most densely packed cities, outdoor recreation powers a vast economic engine that creates billions in spending and millions of good-paying American jobs. Likewise, it is an underappreciated and underfunded weapon against crime, poor academic performance and rising health care costs.
We are fortunate to live in a nation of iconic natural beauty, inspiring landscapes and bountiful waters. Going outdoors to hike, bike, camp, fish, hunt or just walk around the neighborhood orients us to the natural world. In the outdoors, we come together with friends and family, make lasting memories and find solitude and contemplation. And a growing body of research shows that being outdoors delivers health benefits that are, in many cases, on par with pharmaceutical treatments.
By enjoying these places, we invest in our own well-being and affirm our shared history. In challenging times, when disagreements appear sharper and differences seem harder to bridge, it is the outdoors that reconnects us.”
Read the whole study here. *images and content from Outdoor Industry Association.
We think our clients are the best, but it’s nice to hear it from other people, too!
No surprises here, Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay find themselves in the top 25 of Golf Digest’s latest 100 Greatest Public Courses.
Pacific Dunes #2
Bandon Dunes #7
Old Macdonald #10
Bandon Trails #14
Chambers Bay #24
Check out the whole list here.
From the first tee at Pacific Dunes, you’re awestruck. Playing into the breeze, you’re taken in by the faded green of the fescue fairways against a blue morning sky, the rolling bluffs, and the dramatic wildness of the landscape.
Traveling to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for the first time, you already know this is the golf trip of a lifetime. But the excitement of finally arriving on property conjures up intense anticipation for what lies ahead.
One thing you do notice from the first tee at Pacific Dunes is that the Pacific Ocean is nowhere to be seen … at least not yet.
“Just wait until you come up to the third green,” your friend, a veteran Bandonista, assures you. “The ocean views are incredible. You’ve never seen or felt anything like it.”
Unbeknownst to a Bandon Dunes rookie, your playing partner is one of our favorite types of Bandonistas — The Tour Guide. You see, not all Bandonistas are the same. In fact, Bandon Dunes veterans usually fall into at least one, but typically a combination of four main personality categories.
Who are these distinct members of the Bandon Dunes family? Well, it helps to think of them like our four championship golf courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, and Old Macdonald. Starting with the course and player where it all began, here’s a rundown of the four courses of Bandonistas:
Bandon Dunes, aka The Tour Guide
Hard to believe that Bandon Dunes was once just 18 holes and a vague idea to most, but not to The Tour Guide, who has made pilgrimages year after year to the Southern Oregon Coast. He read Dream Golf cover to cover before his first trip and will read it again just before his next. Simply put, The Tour Guide has seen it all over the years, and now wants to show others how to do Bandon Dunes right.
Want to know where The Labyrinth is? The Tour Guide will not only lead you there, he will explain exactly what and who inspired its creation. Ever notice that David McLay Kidd routed the par-4 fourth hole at Bandon Dunes in a way to reveal the ocean on the approach shot rather than tee box? The Tour Guide knows exactly why.
Pacific Dunes, aka The Flash
Like Pacific Dunes, The Flash gets showered with accolades. From the first tee, it becomes obvious that this Bandonista is the player in the group. They have all the shots, and look picture-perfect in form and fashion while making each one. The Flash doesn’t have a bad hole in him, but rest assured he will play a few holes that will make your jaw drop.
All along, The Flash somehow still manages to stay true to humble beginnings. He loves and respects the game, and to see The Flash play is to see a true artist at work.
Bandon Trails, aka The Independent
He has a different look about him than most, and The Independent does not mind that a bit. Opinionated and unafraid, The Independent relishes the chance to stand out from the crowd. The Independent is the fun one, even if not everybody quite gets him at first, but once they do, they can’t help but fall in love.
The Independent might show up to the first tee in knickers. He may smack a “Texas wedge” from 50 yards off the green, or use a three-quarters swing of a driver off the deck to skid a ball down the fairway. With little use for convention, The Independent is only limited by an almost unlimited imagination.
Old Macdonald, aka The Traditionalist
Reserved and humble, The Traditionalist feels an uncommon spiritual connection to the game. For this person, golf is a journey meant to be cherished. The Traditionalist has an unwavering passion for the game and its history. He might even have a persimmon wood driver in his bag, because The Traditionalist does not believe that contemporary is always better.
The Traditionalist is devoted to the Rules of Golf, but does not care much for the scorecard. In fact, to dwell on the score is to miss the point altogether. To The Traditionalist, golf is a historic game and that history should be honored.
When it comes to your course persona, are you more Bandon Dunes than Pacific Dunes? Or are you the Bandon Trails or Old Macdonald Bandonista? Maybe you have a bit of all of them in you.
A trip to Bandon Dunes is the only way to truly know for sure.