Whistler’s investment in hosting Subaru Ironman Canada paid off for the resort, with an economic impact assessment revealing $17.3 million in economic activity in August 2013.
The economic impact report was released by the Resort Municipality of Whistler on Monday (Dec. 2).
According to the report, some $7 million of spending was generated in Whistler, supporting $8.4 million in local economic activity. An additional $140,000 was spent in the Pemberton area, resulting in $212,000 in local economic activity.
“We are extremely happy with the results of our first event in Whistler,” said Keats McGonigal, operations manager for World Triathlon Corporation. “The athletes and staff loved the event and view the region as an extremely attractive vacation destination.”
A poll of participants found that 86 per cent were likely to return to Whistler.
The RMOW contributes $250,000 per year to the event through the municipal Festivals, Events and Animation (FE&A) program, while Tourism Whistler contributes $45,000 for the duration of the five-year hosting contract.
The event brings 2,400 athletes to the resort, plus thousands of additional friends and family members. The occupancy at local hotels was close to full during the weekend.
As well, athletes came to Whistler before the event to train on the course.
The 2014 edition of Subaru Ironman Canada takes place on Sunday, July 27.
Visit www.ironman.ca for more information, registration or to volunteer for the race.
Freestyle club celebrates 25th anniversary
The Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club (WBFSC) is one of the fastest growing snow clubs in town, thanks to the recent launch of the Freestylerz program in cooperation with provincial and national freestyle associations and the growth of park skiing in general. Having the world’s top freestyle team for nine of the last 10 years is also a pretty good draw.
The club is celebrating the start of its 25th anniversary season when club programs begin this Saturday (Dec. 7).
Some of the athletes that are alums of the club include Olympic gold medallist Dale Begg-Smith, freeski revolutionary Mike Douglas, World Cup skiers Sylvia Kerfoot and Kelly Ringstad and freeskier Shane Szocs. Some of the members of the team that are currently with the national program include mogul skier Eddie Hicks and Pemberton’s Yuki Tsubota, who is closing in on a spot in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Some of the changes to the club this year include the appointment of Sarah Hogg as head coach.
“I’m stoked to be leading the club into its 25th season,” said Hogg. “We have a strong past and a promising future. I’m also honoured to be the very first female head coach for the WBFSC.”
The club started out offering traditional moguls and aerials programs, expanding into freeski events like halfpipe, big air and slopestyle as those events became mainstream. As well, they’ve started offering programs to younger skiers through Freestylerz, as well as year-round camps and programming.
For more, visit www.whistlerblackcombfreestyle.com.
Chaddock hosts BIKES fundraiser
Whistler pro cyclist Ben Chaddock is hosting a fundraiser for his BIKES initiative, which stands for Bicycle-Inspired Kinetics for Elementary Schools. The program encourages kids to be physically active and pursue their passions by setting goals and targets, rewarding effort along the way. He’s currently working with three elementary classes in Whistler, with plans to branch out to 20 schools in 2014.
The fundraiser takes place Dec. 10 at Creekbread, starting at 5 p.m. A percentage from all pizzas sold will go into the BIKES, as well as the proceeds from other fundraising events including a silent auction. Interested parents can also get a sneak peek at the program.
The money goes to help with the cost of producing videos that depict people following their passions, and the steps they took to get there.
Whistler events see hosting grants
The B.C. Government is providing $20,000 to three events in Sea to Sky this winter through the Hosting BC program, including $7,500 for Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton for hosting the InterContinental Cup from Jan. 1-7, $5,000 for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club to host the Canadian Alpine and Para Alpine Skiing Championships from Mar. 19-26, and $7,500 to the Whistler Mountain Ski Club for hosting the Whistler Cup international juvenile ski races from Apr. 4-6.
Some 41 events in 24 communities were awarded Hosting BC grants in the latest round of approval, totalling $164,500. The program has provided almost $4 million since it was created in 2004.
Bobsleigh teams on the podium
This past weekend saw the Olympic champion bobsleigh team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse reunite, with Moyse taking a few years off to focus on rugby — becoming the highest scoring female of all time in the World Cup — and recover from a rugby injury. The pair combined for a gold medal. For Humphries, the overall World Cup champion from last year and arguably the best pilot in the game, it was only a good start.
“It is a game within a game between us and the Americans and the Germans at the start,” she said. “We have great respect for them, and it will be like this all year. We know we have a target on our backs. Our goals is to keep doing our job and hopefully keep winning.”
The two-man bobsleigh team of Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsen placed third in the men’s race.
As well, the battle over who would represent Canada in Sochi in the sport of skeleton continued, with Eric Neilson and Sarah Reid both meeting Olympic standards with fifth and sixth places finishes respectively.