SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In less than 24-hours, the world's best cyclists were in and out of Santa Barbara but the impact is longer lasting.
Besides exciting the locals, the Amgen Tour of California brought thousands of tourists to the county and city of Santa Barbara.
"It's a fabulous chance to showcase who we are and what we are to the world," council member Randy Rowse said. "These guys are world-class athletes. It's wonderful for business. It brings folks into town but it's just a great athletic event and it's a slam dunk. There is nothing about it that's negative."
According to the Santa Barbara Conference and Visitors Bureau, more than 900 hotel rooms were reserved just for the members of race teams and Amgen staff, a number that is actually much higher with all the visitors coming to Santa Barbara for the race.
"I think it's great," Santa Barbara resident Ellen Parton said. "I've met people who are staying in the hotels, enjoying our beautiful town and I think it's a great revenue provider."
Stage 4 ended along the beach on Cabrillo Boulevard on Wednesday. Stage 5 kicked off from that same spot on Thursday as riders made the 115-mile trip from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach.
"You can see this on the Internet," Santa Barbara resident Sharon Robinson said. "But when it comes to your actual town, it's very exciting."
Nearly everyone would love to see the Amgen Tour of California pass through again in 2014.