Despite recent editorials to the contrary, Pemberton does welcome Ironman Canada participants and the entourage that comes with the athletes. We also welcome GranFondo riders and Slow Food Cycle enthusiasts and, of course, our mountain bikers.
We see a great opportunity to grow tourism and visits to Pemberton. It can stimulate a wide variety of businesses in and around Pemberton like those in our accommodation sector, restaurants and outdoor adventure companies. And let’s face it — Pemberton could use a shot in the arm after recent economic challenges felt around the world and right here at home.
Who knew that once the Sea to Sky Highway Project was completed it would attract a bike ride from Vancouver to Whistler — the GranFondo was born. We knew the highway would be more attractive, safer and faster to move visitors to the best ski resort town in the world, winter and summer. And with increased visits comes economic growth and opportunities only limited by an entrepreneur’s imagination.
It was only a matter of time before Pemberton and the Meadows Road would be a roadie’s dream come true, with its flat terrain surrounded by spectacular scenery! In fact, with world-class mountain bike trails and now a stretch of highway for roadies and events like Nimby Fifty, Slow Food Cycle Sunday and Ironman Canada, Pemberton is in an envious position other communities would clamor to get … we should be so lucky!
It doesn’t come without challenges though. Meadows Road may be flat, but it’s narrow and with no shoulders — it can be a nightmare for cyclists, vehicles and our farm neighbors up the valley. Cyclists up the Meadows Road should ride single file, be careful on the many blind corners and be aware of faster traffic coming up from behind. Heaven forbid we should witness an accident only to learn what we already know!
The new signs that read “Please Share the Road/ Ride Single File” can only help remind everyone to use extra caution. It also looks like Ironman road closures will inconvenience everyone from local businesses and farmers alike in Pemberton and up the Meadows. Hopefully these will be minimized as much as possible while at the same time we maximize the opportunities for economic growth.
As summer 2013 officially opens for business, let’s welcome riders of all abilities and disciplines to Pemberton and area. And please ride safely!
Past President, Pemberton & District Chamber of Commerce