28 August 2009

Interview with Terry McGinnis

We're talking to Terry McGinnis, the director of the Tour of Utah. Terry, how long have you been with the Tour of Utah? And what does the Director do?

I have been with the Tour of Utah for 4 years in different capacities; in 2006, I did the live radio commentary, for 2007 I served as a consultant for the team Greg Miller had assembled to do a UCI level stage race, taking over as Executive Director in 2008, a position that I still hold.

The Executive Director is basically the general manager of the event; I hire key personnel, design the courses, work with USA Cycling, handle most of the sponsorship sales, work with our merchandise partners, select the teams to invite, oversee our marketing and PR efforts by working closely with those I have hired for that as well as Tweet some about the whole process.

During the race you will find me doing everything from greeting VIPS to hanging banners and picking up trash.

Now that the tour is over for the year, do you get any down time before you start working on 2010? Is there anything new that we can expect for 2010?

We began working on 2010 last week while the Tour was still on! We had our first executive meeting to discuss how we were going to fill out the NRC application, which is due tomorrow. Steve Miller, Chad Sperry, Karen Weiss, Linda Luchetti and myself layed out our intentions for 2010 during that Thursday dinner meeting.

For 2010, not much will change, it will still be a Prologue (same course) plus 5 stages and will likely run August 17-22. We are going to make the Ogden-SLC (Stage 1) and Nebo (Stage 2) courses longer, we may add a circuit race in Park City and if we can make it work, the Stage 3 TT may become a TTT.

Do you have a cycling background? And with everything you are doing as Executive Director, do you find time to get out and ride?

I raced for over 20 years, nearly a decade of that as an Elite Cat 1. I was forced to retire in 2007 because of cancer. I now ride occasionaly when time and health allows.

I think the prologue was a great addition to this years race, and I can't wait to see if there will be a TTT next year.

What does the future hold for the Tour of Utah? Are we going to see it on the UCI calendar by 2011? Is there any possibility of the race leaving the Wasatch Front and visiting other parts of our state?

First and foremost we have to keep the race in the black and making the jump to UCI will be dependant on sponsor support. A UCI event will triple my budget and right now we can continue to hold a first-class NRC event year after year with the support I am getting from sponsors and the community but whether or not that same community will support a UCI event at three times their current investment is a question we will have to answer going forward.

It is the vision of both the race owners, myself and the State of Utah to showcase beyond the Wasatch front, whether or not we can do that by 2011 is a big question mark right now. After our performance this year, we will be taking the temperature of sponsors in the next few months and try to get a feel for whether or not they would support a UCI event.

For now, watch for a bigger and better NRC event in 2010!

I would like to thank Terry McGinnis for taking the time to talk to me. It sounds like the Tour of Utah is in great hands, and 2010 is going to be a great year!

On Saturday, October 24th, Terry McGinnis lost his battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time. The Cycling community has lost a good friend.

1 comment:

Kelly Hill said...

Great interview again, Hon. You really have something in you to be able to do this. Very insightful.

Love you. k