Regarding the rumors about the race moving on, it would surprise me if this were true, but then again, event organization, sponsors, UCI scheduling conflicts, team management etc, may all play into it. They may have collective reasoning to move on or cancel all together, it happens all the time in American bike racing. Hard to predict for sure though.
However, the 2011 edition was having difficulty getting off the ground, with Quiznos pulling sponsorship and quite a few pieces of the puzzle not falling into place until a month prior, I was hearing rumors that it would never happen, so you never know.
Seems like the crowds this year were in line with previous years, but that perception can be skewed depending on where you choose to spectate from. I am sure race organization has a better idea of the true numbers though.
Vail certainly had no complaints: http://www.vaildaily.com/news/7831560-113/vail-colorado-challenge-colarusso
"The return on investment pours $228 into the private sector for every $1 spent on the ad campaign, White said."
Sounds like a win/win to me.
As far as coverage was concerned, I thought it was excellent. A few hours of live coverage each day on the Tour Tracker, Phil and Paul, instant updates, NBC coverage on TV, what more could you ask for? My only real complaint was that on the Aspen/Snowmass stage, they went to commercial as the riders were winding up for the sprint and we missed it entirely. Technical difficulties I think. Following the Tour de France and European bike racing in the 80's and 90's, we were fortunate if the local paper had a small paragraph with the top 10 placings listed and then we would get a weekly half hour, or hour of condensed coverage on Wide World of Sports with announcers who knew NOTHING about bike racing, like Sam Posey. Then a month or two later, you could read a bit more about it in Winning magazine. Coverage certainly has come a long way.
Re: Loveland. Nothing against Loveland, but I was surprised they started a stage there, it just does not seem like the most bike crazy town. There seemed to be a pretty decent turnout at the start, but was a core group of cycling fans from Boulder/Denver/Ft. Collins and was very concentrated. Outside the immediate scrum of the start area, it was crickets chirping. Perhaps they just picked that for a start because it was a suitable spot for the team buses and all the staging that goes along with such an event.