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Nixon says state can focus tourism funding elsewhere

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon remains bullish on state tourism, despite pulling the plug on the high profile Tour of Missouri bicycle race.

The governor says the state is using what little tourism money it has to support other things, such as state parks. Nixon said attendance at state parks is up 5.6 percent over last year.

"We think we're going to have a great year with the 175th anniversary of Mark Twain," Nixon said. "We know we've already gotten off to a great start with the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express. We also know that the 50th anniversary of Silver Dollar City means Branson is moving forward."

Last week the Missouri tourism commission decided not to allocate $1 million in state money vital to the bike race, canceling what would have been its fourth year.

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