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The high-flying, death-defying Dew Tour is done in Utah.
"I wish we had signed them to a longer term contract, so they'd still be here," said Jeff Robbins, CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "But, we're optimistic there will be some other neat events we're working on."
The action sports tour came to Salt Lake five consecutive summers and put on events at Snowbasin the last three winters. It was not a lack of fans or success that led the tour away from Utah. Ultimately, the Dew Tour made a format change, and will stick to three cities, Ocean City, Maryland, San Francisco and Brekenridge, Colorado for its upcoming events.
The Dew Tour thrilled fans, polished Salt Lake's image for action sports, and pumped around $80 million into our economy over a total of 8 events.
The Dew Tour decision was bad news among skaters at Fairmont Skatepark in Salt Lake City. It was very popular among skaters, bikers, freeskiers and snowboarders across the region.
"Everybody I know goes to Dew Tour, even if they don't skate," said skateboarder Quinn Goodwin.
"I think it's a good thing to spread the events around," said skateboarder Chase Naylor. "The more places that it happens, it gives locals more opportunity to go and see them."
I think it's going to leave a pretty big hole. People are going to say, I kind of miss that. So, we're going to keep our eye on the ball and bring some other major events in.
–Jeff Robbins, CEO of the Utah Sports Commission
The Dew Tour generated $10-12 million for the three-day summer event, and $6 million annually for the three-day winter event.
"I think it's a pretty big deal," said Goodwin. "There's a lot of income that can come from it. A lot of local companies are making money from dew tour."
Salt Lake set a Dew Tour summer attendance record of 64,000 fans in 2010, and Snowbasin holds the winter record with 44,000 fans.
"I think it's going to leave a pretty big hole," said Robbins. "People are going to say, I kind of miss that. So, we're going to keep our eye on the ball and bring some other major events in."
The young skaters hope so. They got to hang out with the pros.
"Got to see them in person, talk to them," said skateboarder Mike Quigley. "A lot of them would just come down and walk through the event. So, that was cool."
The skaters also say the Dew Tour has a way of legitimizing the sport that they love, and showing that it is for serious athletes.
"A lot of people think it's bad, and that skateboarders are dirty, grungy, troublemakers," said Goodwin. "I feel like, it really exposes skateboarders for the true athletes they are."
The Utah Sports Commission likes the possibility of creating events for action sports here in Utah, and now knows there's a fan base for that. Robbins is optimistic the commission can find a way develop or bring in an event that excites the same fans.
"It may take us a little while, but I think we'll have some good luck in attracting some of those major events back."