SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 22, 2013

Cyclocross leader eyes move to Salem

(Continued)

At that time, Boudreau addressed concerns about cycling over the Lucy Brown Davis pathway, the dirt and rock path that leads from Stacey Boulevard into Stage Fort Park, as well as the condition in which the park was left.

Boudreau proposed smoothing over the pathway and adding stone dust.

Work done to Stage Fort Park after the race ends includes using a Bobcat rake, seeding, spreading loam and placing hay bales around the dirt and gravel path.

“It was not very impressive, the condition they left the field,” Verga said.

Verga said other minor issues raised were the amount of commentary during the race itself and the lack of accessibility to the park during the race; but said those problems could be solved with better signage and more communication.

In a report issued to city officials earlier this year, Boudreau stated the Gran Prix of Gloucester is not unique; that other events such as the Boston Marathon and the Charles Regatta also close off public spaces.

Verga said he would keep an open mind in having the race in Gloucester, as long as Stage Fort Park sees repairs in a timely fashion and race-goers respect certain areas of the park.

“The bottom line is I’m not going to bend over backwards and beg them to come,” Verga said.

Despite concerns, Boudreau cited the race’s economic benefit to Gloucester.

“Based on a Bentley University economic impact study, roughly 40 percent of participants stay in the Cape Ann region during the race weekend,” he wrote.

The report also included positive recommendations from various local inns and motels. The Gran Prix generates more than $20,000 between fees and other expenditures in the city; a portion of that is used to repair the park, according to the report.

After all the bills are paid, money also goes toward local charities such as the Gloucester Writer’s Center, although the net revenue measures in the hundreds, not thousands, of dollars, according to the minutes of the Planning and Development Committee.

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