New Belgium Brewing announced today that its ballyhoo of bikes and beers, the Tour de Fat, will not return to Durango in 2009. Having outgrown the preferred venue in Durango, logistical challenges made it difficult to return. Tour de Fat has raised more than $64,000 for local non-profits since 2002. In order to help with the budgetary transition, New Belgium will donate $8,000 in 2009 to past beneficiaries, the San Juan Mountains Association and Trails 2000.
“The Tour de Fat has always been about bike advocacy and Durango understands that better than most cities,” said New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson. “In order to progress the advocacy element, we have to bring the show to new towns and we can’t add new events without balancing something on the other end.”
Local nonprofits are encouraged to seek future funding through New Belgium’s philanthropy program. The brewery donates 1 percent of its annual revenues to 1 percent for the Planet. New Belgium will also return to Durango as a sponsor for the Single Speed World Opens in September.
“This is not a decision we made lightly,” Simpson said. “We’ve worked hard to secure transition funding for our partnering nonprofits. Durango cyclists will build on the momentum we’ve created together and they’ll continue to grow their world-class cycling community. Meanwhile, take satisfaction in knowing that the message is being spread to new areas where people need a little more help building their scene.”
New Belgium first brought Tour de Fat to Durango in 2002. The event has raised more than $1 million for cycling and environmental nonprofits since its inception in 2000.