Is the Gourmet Gala too expensive to run?

Should we disassociate ourselves from future TDU’s. I ask everyone a separate question. Is it the TDU you have a concern with or the Gourmet Gala with its cost of $ 266,000 per event?

In other words, is the Gourmet Gala too expensive to run? Should we continue to run the Gourmet Gala?

The Gourmet Gala is held the night before a stage start for the TDU. It certainly does compliment the race start the next morning, making for an extended celebration.

 

But again, is it the TDU?

The Gala does require an investment by council of some $ 266,000 to stage. This is a significant investment.

But is it? It is actually in the order of just $ 10.00 for every rate payer, whether residential or commercial.

Some see this as focused on an elite group, others just a big party that we can do without. Others, a party we could hold at another time, at another venue, at far less cost than $ 266,000. A solid argument.

If it is all about party time in Unley we certainly can look at doing it at less cost. The Unley Way to go held many moons ago on Unley Oval is evidence of this.

The gourmet gala many do not realise goes well beyond this however.

The Gourmet Gala attracts people from within and from outside to King William Road as a destination. Up to 30,000 at a time which is far from an elite group.

This, in turn, must be economically good for business in King William Road. We are told by qualified experts that it has provided an economic benefit to the strip of over $ 5.0m to the City of Unley between 2011 and 2017. An average of close to $ 730,000 per event.

Some traders disagree, losing money on the night. These traders I suggest do not see the marketing potential of such an event. That is a debate however for another time.

So, when this comes up again, let us focus on what we are actually debating. Is it the TDU or is it the Gourmet Gala? Or is it both?

The above is far from an argument justifying the Gourmet Gala.

There is much more to consider as we consider any future commitment to the Gala. This conversation I think needs to expand into at least a 4th post just to explore alternatives to the Gala.

So watch this space.

Unrest from some over Unley hosting the TDU

Amid cries that it is too expensive and/or it has had its day, there is unrest from some over Unley hosting the TDU.

During budget deliberations, we heard cries from some in our community to abandon the TDU. Indeed (from memory) two councillors said the same. Some including the two councillors will be disappointed with the news it is going to happen.

Those same cries were not so apparent when we debated earlier in the year whether we should put another bid in or not. That is when the debate was needed to be had, not at budget time.

Curiously this happens every year. We agree to put in a bid. Then at budget time we debate if we should change that decision.

With the announcement imminent of who has been successful in hosting a start or a finish, budget time is precisely the wrong time to have the debate. To pull out then would surely to be irresponsible.

But what are we debating. The calls to drop our association with the TDU come from concern over the $ 266,000 it costs council to stage the Gourmet Gala.

I don’t argue that this is a significant amount of money for one event. But is it? More on that in a future blog.

Whilst the Gourmet Gala is associated with the TDU it is not the TDU. The TDU start surely must stay. As I wrote in my last blog post the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

For the premier bike capital of Adelaide (Unley) not to host a start, or a finish for that matter, would surely be criminal.

So, when this comes up again, let us focus on what we are actually debating. Is it the TDU or is it the Gourmet Gala? Or is it both?

 

The City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand

The City of Unley is recognised for being the most cyclist friendly City in all of Adelaide. Adelaide in turn is Australia’s home of the Tour Down Under (TDU). Truly the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

 

Unley is recognised for it’s extensive bikeways. An inner suburban Council, we have been proactive in finding alternate forms of transport other than single occupancy cars.

For this reason, the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

It should be expected therefore that the Tour organisers see Unley’s bid to host a TDU start as a no-brainer. No surprise then that we have been awarded a Stage 2 start for the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under.

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said the race was thrilled to be returning to Unley for the start of Stage 2. “The location of Unley as a stage start is one of the iconic start locations throughout the history of the event and never disappoints,” he said.

“The support from the community in Unley and its surrounds is terrific. Next year the race will start on King William Road and the peloton will parade through the city from Unley and take a route down Melbourne Street for the first time.”

Stage 2 will be held in the morning of Wednesday 17 January.

As always, we will hold our Gourmet Gala event on the night before. An event that often attracts 30,000 people or more. The Gala has become one of Adelaide’s iconic events, seen by many as integral to the whole TDU experience.

There are however some within our community, indeed on Council, who see this differently. Please stay tuned for my take on that shortly. When I do, just remember that the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

TDU 2016 Stage 2 goes again to Unley

If you have not heard yet the City of Unley has been successful yet again with the announcement that the TDU 2016 Stage 2 goes again to Unley.

 

The flag will fall at 11.00 am on Wednesday the 20th January as the bike riders embark on a TDU 2016 stage 2 start journey of 132 km  through the Adelaide Hills on their way to a finish at Stirling. Checkoutthe route map on the Santos TDU website.

And I can tell you also that our ever popular Gourmet Gala event will be in the night before. A combination that is recognised around the country. A combination that promnotes Unley as an event specialist and promotes also our premier shopping strip.

Mark both events in your calendar and watch this space for more news.

And now…..down to the hard work of making it all happen.