Univest Grand Prix Puts Community, Economic Development Into High Gear for Host Towns

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 7, 2010

Univest Grand Prix Puts Community, Economic Development Into High Gear for Host Towns

Large Crowds, Television Coverage Help Promote Local Businesses, Opportunities

Souderton, Pa. - The Univest Grand Prix, long known for propelling rising young cyclists into the elite tiers of the sport, has also proven to be a potent community and economic tool for its host communities, say business leaders and local officials who have worked with race organizers and sponsors for a dozen years.

Pam Coleman, manager of the Souderton-Telford Main Street program, said the annual race has helped local business owners by providing valuable regional, national and even international exposure while building a stronger sense of community throughout the region.

“The race is one of those quality of life events that brings the world into our community,” Coleman said. “The level of pride for it among residents and business owners is just phenomenal.”

Coleman said dining establishments along the course, such as Main Street Java, the Caboose Grill and others, benefit greatly from the thousands of fans attracted to the borough each year. Other businesses have found that North America’s most prestigious Pro-Am cycling competition is a great instrument for business development.

For instance, tenants at the Village Center Office Suites on Main Street, near the finish line in Souderton, held a very popular open house for clients last year, said Coleman and Village Suites owner David Halliday.

“We streamed the race on a large television screen in our first floor conference room, we had refreshments and everyone who was there enjoyed it immensely,” Halliday said. “Anything like this brings the town alive; it puts Souderton on the map.”

Coleman, a veteran Main Street manager who has worked in several communities, said the value of a major, international event such as the Univest Grand Prix, cannot be underestimated. Main Street officials have made it a key factor in their ongoing redevelopment and revitalization plans for the borough’s business district and the borough has responded by undertaking key beautification and rehabilitation projects that help the historic town show its best face to both visitors and viewers, she said.

Revitalizing and uniting the town by bringing people together to celebrate a wonderful community event was part of the goal Univest Corporation had when they contacted Sparta Cycling to create the event more than a decade ago, said William S. Aichele, chairman, president and CEO of Univest Corporation.

”We are extremely proud to be the title sponsor of this incredible community event which offers something for the entire family to enjoy,” added Aichele. “Experience races for children, recreational events for the serious cyclist and the dedicated runner, an extensive family expo complete with a children’s zone on Saturday and the famous Doylestown Arts Festival on Sunday.

“Throughout the race’s 13-year history, it has surpassed our hopes of bringing people together in and around Souderton. It has grown tremendously as Univest too has grown, and now the Univest Grand Prix is one of the most highly anticipated community events in our region. It is a weekend you won’t want to miss.”

With 16 laps to choose from, fans will have more opportunities to experience the course from various vantage points, such as the Wile Avenue hill or the Family Fun Zone area at Univest Plaza with its twice-a-lap views of the competition. Spectators will have the opportunity to take shuttles to various points along the course, before returning to the finish line for the dramatic conclusion.

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Univest Criterium of Doylestown, which offers 50 miles of fast-paced, circuit-style racing on a 1.4-mile course. In addition to the professional race, the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance will once again hold the Doylestown Arts Festival. The race route will showcase the festival by providing spectators and attendees an opportunity to watch the race while enjoying the work of local artists.

Matt Caffrey, president of the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance, said the Univest Criterium of Doylestown brings added exposure for the annual Doylestown Arts Festival and helps promote the town to a new audience – a sports-oriented base that might not typically attend an arts festival.

It also brings long-term benefits, he said.

“People come here and they like what they see, it feels like home,” said Caffrey, owner of the popular Chambers Restaurant on Main Street. “The next thing you see is that they are looking at real estate books and thinking about whether they want to move or retire here.”

Saturday’s road race will be broadcast live on WNPV-1440 AM and on WFMZ-69 television.

For More Information

Kim Detwiler
VP, Director of Corporate Communications
Univest Corporation
215-721-8396
detwilerk@univest.net
www.univest.net

 

Joe McDermott
Media Director
Univest Grand Prix
484-860-2289
jysmcd@ptd.net
www.spartacycling.com

About the Univest Grand Prix

From its inception, the Univest Grand Prix has united the towns throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties for a weekend of community celebration while offering a unique showcase for the best young talent in cycling. The pro event is presented by Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania, Alderfer and Leidy’s Premium Meat Products, WFMZ-69, and Comcast SportsNet. For more information visit www.univestgrandprix.com.

About Univest Corporation

Headquartered in Souderton, Pa., Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (UVSP) and its subsidiaries Univest National Bank and Trust Co., Univest Insurance, Inc., Univest Investments, Inc., and Univest Capital, Inc.,serve the financial needs of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. For more information please visit www.univest.net.

About Sparta Cycling

Sparta Cycling provides race promotion services to deliver world class events that meet the needs of sponsors, teams and riders, spectators and supporting communities. For more information, please visit www.spartacycling.com