Paul Dallenbach knows how to budget for his annual trip to Manitou Springs.
His experience has taught him that Suzie Malec is going to hold five rooms for his team at the Comfort Inn, running about $100 per night for six nights. He can accurately predict what it takes to feed his crew and himself. And, as a three-time overall winner of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, he can guess what hell have to spend on his car.
The vast majority of that money is spent locally in the Colorado Springs area.
It should be good for the economy, I would think, said Dallenbach, who sleeps in his RV at the Garden of the Gods campground each year.
Dallenbach plans to spend $25,000 each year simply on car-related expenses ranging from fuel to tires to parts and labor. That doesnt include roughly $10,000 hes budgeted in some years for hotels and meals for his crew, a figure that has dropped now that the Basalt resident has switched to a Colorado Springs-based team.
Rooms fill up, you have to get them early, the veteran said.
According to projections from Summit Economics, there will be 21,492 total visitor nights spent in the area this year related to the race. Those will be nearly equally split between competitors and their teams and fans. Another 600 or so will belong to visiting media.
Those projections came from a 2013 study that found $6.6 million in direct sales resulted from the Hill Climb that led to more than $500,000 in city, county and state tax revenue. The study highlighted the economic and fiscal impact felt by spending from race teams and fans as well as local spending to hold the event.
From the long stays for teams (most stay at least six days) to ticket prices (those bought on race day range from $35 to $70) to entry fees for teams ($1,500 this year, up $100 from 2015), theres seemingly nothing cheap when it comes to the Hill Climb.
There is no other race course in the world like The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the event boasts on its website. That is why it attracts race crews that are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars and months of preparation to compete for the right to be the King of the Mountain.
Actual expenditures vary, with those traveling the greatest distances obviously taking the biggest hit. Some racers have spotted teams from Japan with around 20 members. Last year Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar rented The Broadmoors Cloud Camp before driving his Porsche up Americas Mountain.
The opposite side of the spectrum are the local motorcycle competitors who can make their runs for limited costs.
Most fall somewhere in the middle, with expenses skyrocketing for unexpected events like catastrophic breakdowns or crashes.
The money adds up, and it is expected to grow.
By 2022, the race is projected to bring 22,900 out-of-town visitor nights to the area and result in $7.5 million in direct sales.