El Tour brings in $15-17M to local economy, rain has some impact - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

El Tour brings in $15-17M to local economy, rain has some impact

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

On the eve of the biggest bike ride in Tucson, rain has helped some local businesses but it's put a wrench in the plans of others.

Pouring rain leaves puddles throughout Tucson, hours before El Tour. With more rain on the way, Eileen Jeanette and her friend are shopping for storm gear.

"We needed a few last minute items to try and feudal attempt to keep us dry," said Jeanette.

"This is the first time we've actually had rain on the day of the tour," said Larry Cushman, manager at Performance.

Business is so good at Performance, Cushman says they've sold out of rain gear, calling for extra shipments. Sales have soared by three to four thousand dollars.

"I wasn't expecting to buy anything," said Faye Whalen, who rode El Tour.

But mother nature has put a damper on other businesses. Caruso's on Fourth Ave had to close its patio but the restaurant still had a good dinner rush.

"The rain does have an impact... some of the reservations have reduced in size but it hasn't changed the volume we're seeing. There are still a lot of people coming in," said a Caruso's manager.

Tucson News Now spoke to organizers who say the ride normally brings in between 15 to 17 million dollars to our local economy. While the Marriott at the University has seen good attendance, a handful of other hotels have been getting cancellations because of the rain.

As of Friday night, riders were still registering. But, on Wednesday, organizers had 1,500 fewer registrants than they had hoped for.

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