The Penticton ITU Multisport World Championship Festival organizers hope to set big benchmarks so the event will return in five years.
Michael Brown, executive director of the Penticton event, said if the festival hits their goals, of which he did not go into specifics, it is written into their contract that the event will return in 2022. It was also written into their contract it would come back every five years after that.
“We believe that we’re going to set the benchmark,” said Brown to a group of local business owners and other interested people during an information session held at Cannery Brewing Co. Wednesday night. “We don’t believe anybody will be able to match it. We believe that in five years, that we will be able to double that benchmark.”
Brown talked about a standard duathlon race in Hamburg, Germany that attracted 11,000 age groupers and because of those numbers, he feels it is attainable for Penticton in 2022.
Penticton is the first location to host all six world championship races after the ITU changed the format of holding the races in different locations. When the event takes place, there will be live streams as well as broadcasts in Europe.
“Exposure will be big,” said Brown, who added the economic impact the festival will have on the city is between $15 million to $20 million.
Read more: Spotlight will shine on Penticton
In early December, Brown is traveling to Madrid, Spain for ITU’s annual Congress to show off Penticton to the world with a video presentation.
“We’re selling them on Penticton. People will come because it’s an amazing place,” said Brown. “The race is a small piece of the trip.”
Brown said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will be present.
“Some of the most influential in endurance sports in the world will have Penticton on their radar,” added Brown.
Sheila Perepalkin, an Okanagan region senior sales manager for the Sandman Hotel Group, said she is excited.
“It’s a great event. It’s great exposure for the community,” she said. “I think that it’s going to potentially put us on the map.”
Perepalkin felt a ‘wow’ moment while watching the video.
“I think most people take for granted the beauty and extreme opportunities that exist in our region,” she said. “When we get to show this to the world, it’s going to open up a whole different avenue.”
During the information session, Perepalkin asked Brown when the course will be set. She said they have received several requests from counties asking about the course, which will not be set until April or May.
Brown said he wanted to give Penticton businesses an idea of the scope of the event and discuss how their business will be impacted.
He explained with the World Championship Club, which replaced the previous one similar to Iron Club, businesses have the option of choosing different levels of sponsorship at various price points. One of the benefits of taking part is having the organizing committee push customers to their respective businesses. Brown said they are contacted constantly about places to visit or which businesses they can book for certain gatherings.
“We know that there is no community in Canada like Penticton,” Brown said. “We need your help, we want your help. We want to help you. We hope you want to help us.”
Challenge Penticton will still take place this year, but will be held on July 23 and will be the half distance.
For more information about Penticton 2017 World Multisport Championships Festival, head to penticton2017.com
About Penticton 2017 ITU World Multisport Championships Festival
Penticton 2017 looks to building on the region’s rich history of long-distance triathlon. The 10-day event will see 5,000 athletes from across the globe compete in six niche multisport events; long-distance triathlon, cross triathlon, sprint and standard duathlon, aquabike and aquathlon.
In addition to thousands of the world’s best triathletes, the event will also attract thousands of spectators, national officials, triathlon media and members of the global triathlon family.