Show me the Money!

Channel 13 is investigating RAGBRAI and Gannet regarding their claims toward charitable donations. It’s interesting Gannet will not disclose the donations.

https://whotv.com/2019/11/15/channel-13-investigation-into-ragbrais-charitable-contribution-claims/?fbclid=IwAR3vdB-kCC7vz1oHqasD86gjYjJBEhAQPksxWZEXxgMyFaJMloIYPnoUyJE

25 Replies

Joseph Schlau, November 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Council Bluffs is a city that ended up 130k in the red. They hosted Ragbrai 7 times, the most recent in 2012. They did this beforehand so they knew what to expect.

How did they go 130k in the red when Indianola made 20k. Either mismanagement or different accounting. The reporter did not actually look at the accounting he just found someone to comment.

I did not see the follow up question to Council Bluffs asking them why the difference between them and Indianola?

But I’ll bet the Gazette article did not go unnoticed by the mayor or city manager. The meeting may be underway as we speak.

Ragbrai does not just show up like a deadbeat relative wanting a handout, cities actively bid to be included. They could say no or we need more support. If it rains one day like it did last time and fewer people ride, how is Ragbrai liable to cover a loss.

The only thing this reporter focused on was city expenses. It did not state how many of the businesses and charitable organizations churches profited.

I guess if you want total indemnity against financial loss, Ragbrai could raise fees to $500 per rider so no city, no matter how mismanaged would ever suffer a loss.

The purpose of government is not to make money but create and maintain the public works, and public safety agencies that allow private businesses to thrive and make money. The taxes returned to government keeps the works and safety systems going.

When a large event comes into town which can benefit a wide range of businesses and charitable organizations, the city invests money in the works and safety areas so the money business and charitable organizations make are repaid in sales tax, liquor license fees, and motel/hotel tax revenues.

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Mike Murphy, November 21, 2019 at 9:24 pm

As poorly as Council Bluffs and TJ had the town set up it doesn’t surprise me that they lost money. They could have saved money by not having the stupid fireworks at 9:30-10 when everyone was trying to get rested up for the first day. By far the worst starting town in my 10 years.

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Ken Koprowski, November 21, 2019 at 9:59 pm

they only report what they want and how they want the story to read

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Ken Reed, November 22, 2019 at 6:37 am

As poorly as Council Bluffs and TJ had the town set up it doesn’t surprise me that they lost money. They could have saved money by not having the stupid fireworks at 9:30-10 when everyone was trying to get rested up for the first day. By far the worst starting town in my 10 years.

In my 13 RAGBRAIs, I’ve been to CB three times now and it seems that they underwhelmed each time. The bigger towns have more money on hand so they throw a ton of it at their set up. They are pretty much destined to lose cash on it. The smaller start towns put on a better show and have an better environment. They are almost guaranteed to make money on it unless they don’t screw anything up.

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Joseph Schlau, November 22, 2019 at 7:05 am

I would have liked to have seen the numbers for Keokuk in 2019. I voiced a concern that many individuals and teams, having reached the Mississippi River in Burlington, would have just said “mission accomplished” and left for home a day early.

The thought of backtracking 8 miles and riding more hills to another more crowded river town prompted our team to stop in the meeting town and leave from there. Not quite a full Ragbrai, but good enough.

Would be interesting to know how it turned out for Keokuk’s bottom line.

This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Joseph Schlau. Reason: Oops! Spelling

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Ken Reed, November 22, 2019 at 8:06 am

Yeah, the end towns tend to get the short end of the stick. The only end town I’ve ever stayed in overnight was Dubuque, only because we had teammates who lived there. It’s just the nature of the beast.

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klkoopman, November 22, 2019 at 12:10 pm

The end town seems to separate us from a decent amount of money. The Friday before the ride my wife and I will usually spend $150 for a hotel, $55 for weeklong parking (which goes directly to the city) and $45 for dinner/ maybe a drink or two. So, that’s $250, more than I spend in any other town.

On the way out we may hit a couple of vendors but definitely patronize the Hy-Vee for ground ham (ham ball fixin’s we can’t get at home), pop, road snacks, gas fill-up, local sweet corn/ other farm stand stuff nearby. It all adds up!

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Jboz, November 22, 2019 at 5:37 pm

“The end town seems to separate us from a decent amount of money.”

This rings true. They must make money or they wouldn’t do it. I think it’s just different revenue sources than the start town and overnight towns. A 10k plus ride generates lots of pre-ride staging activity, parking, plus whatever admittedly small lift they get at the end. But here’s the real payoff. Zero drama or risk. They don’t have to worry about hosting much other than some parking. So, whatever they make is not gobbled up by all the expenses the other towns have to incur. Maybe not as glamorous, but definitely not getting the shaft.

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Larry Klaaren, November 23, 2019 at 9:01 am

I’m thinking the end town gets nothing from most people, and more bucks than an overnight from a few. I usually ride right to my car and leave.

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Larry Klaaren, November 23, 2019 at 10:40 am

They do get a chance on the Saturday before the ride from people who ride the bus from the end town to the start, but I usually just buy from the vendors sitting right there, which doesn’t help the town that much.

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