PENTICTON – The City of Penticton has reached agreements to keep two major events as regular parts of the City’s events calendar.
“We saw the impact that tourism has on Penticton as we returned to large gatherings last summer,” says 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.”
A five-year agreement with the Okanagan Granfondo sees the City of Penticton securing naming rights to the event which will be called the Okanagan Granfondo Penticton.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Penticton. 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,” says Jodi Cross of the Okanagan Granfondo. “With this partnership, we have the confidence to not only continue but grow this event and introduce new training opportunities bringing athletes here in the shoulder season.”
Last year saw more than 3,000 registered participants, with 70 per cent travelling in a party of three and 70 per cent of participants staying for a minimum of three days. The estimated economic impact for this coming year will be $7.48 million to the City of Penticton. Organizers are looking to build in the success of the event and add training opportunities in the shoulder season. The cost of the sponsorship is $100,000 per year.
As well, the City has reached agreement with the Canadian Sport School Hockey League for a 10-year agreement (five years, with an additional five year renewal clause) to host the championships beginning in 2024.
“We’re excited that our championships will call Penticton home for the next decade,” says Kevin Goodwin, the 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 s events will allow for teams and supports to plan more easily. This is a win-win for everyone – the players, the families and local businesses.”
Over the length of the contract, it is estimated the economic impact to Penticton will be close to $40 million. This month’s tournament features 86 teams who are competing in the CSSHL championships over a period of two weeks. The sponsorship agreement, worth $100,000 per year, will see the number of participants increase annually as the league expands teams and programs across the country.
The head of Visit Penticton board notes the competition for signature events is competitive and many other municipalities would be keen on taking away some of these events.
“This is about continuing partnerships that have proven successful and building on them,” says Jessica Dolan, Chair of the Travel Penticton Board of Directors. “It’s also about keeping our edge. When people are looking to come to Penticton there are now two more reasons to come and enjoy – for more than just a day – all we have to offer. The Okanagan Granfondo: Penticton will expose our name farther a field and 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.”
Business Examiner Staff