Two major sports events in Penticton, B.C., will remain in the South Okanagan city for the next five years.
On Wednesday, the City of Penticton announced it had reached agreements with a massive cycling event, the Okanagan Granfondo, and the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.
Last year, the Granfondo drew an estimated 3,000 cyclists to the area. It will now be known as Okanagan Granfondo Penticton after agreeing to a five-year deal with the city.
“We saw the impact that tourism has on Penticton as we returned to large gatherings last summer,” said mayor Julius Bloomfield. “There’s the energy brought by visitors to our community and there is the economic impact of the dollars they bring in.
“It’s important we continue to market ourselves as a destination, provide visitors and residents with annual events to look forward to and that’s what these investments do.”
According to the city, 70 per cent of Granfondo registrants last year travelled in a party of three and stayed for a minimum of three days.
The city says this year’s Granfondo estimated impact is $7.48 million. Sponsoring the event will cost the city $100,000 per year.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Penticton,” said Granfondo spokesperson Jodi Cross. “Our return last summer showed us the enthusiasm for the event continues, not only among the competitors but the host of volunteers.
“All the riders couldn’t speak highly enough of Penticton and can’t wait to return.”
Regarding the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, the city said it signed a 10-year agreement to retain the league’s western championships.
This year’s championships, with its six divisions, will run March 6-19. It will be the seventh time Penticton will host the event.
“We’re excited that our championships will call Penticton home for the next decade,” said Kevin Goodwin, chief operating officer of the CSSHL.
“Our organization is committed to excellence on and off the ice and Penticton is known across the country for the same commitment. Having a dedicated home base for the playoffs will allow for teams and supports to plan more easily.
“This is a win-win for everyone — the players, the families and local businesses.”
The CSSHL says over the length of the contract, its championships will bring an estimated economic impact of $40 million.
This month’s tournament features 86 teams who are competing in the two-week tournament. Next year, 95 teams will take part, with the city spending $100,000 in sponsorship money per year.
“This is about continuing partnerships that have proven successful and building on them,” said Jessica Dolan, chairperson of Visit Penticton. “It’s also about keeping our edge.
“The CSSHL is going to offer a tremendous economic boost in a month that is traditionally a bit slower. These investments are vital to our still recovering economy.”
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