The cost to the City of Penticton to host Ironman for five years is $410,000 — broken down to $299,000 in cash and $111,000 of in-kind support.
However, Mayor John Vassilaki believes businesses and other agencies in the South Okanagan will be more than willing to step up to the plate to help defer that amount.
“I’m hoping it’s not going to cost the taxpayers of Penticton anything,” said Vassilaki. “Those businesses know the value of what they (Ironman) are bringing to our community and I think it’s going to be one of the most successful Ironman’s in North America if not the world.”
He added the event funnels millions of dollars into the local economy and there have already been commitments to help, including Travel Penticton which has put up $100,000 of in-kind support.
“We’re delighted that Ironman actually chose to come back and I think that says a lot for the community and the spirit that we have here and the capacity for us to hold such a world class event,” said executive director Thom Tischik of Travel Penticton. “Certainly from an international standpoint it really puts Penticton out there in the forefront.”
As well, he believes the changes in social media since Ironman was last here will generate even more exposure for Penticton worldwide.
“Any event that happens in Penticton is crucial to the tourism economy and the economic health of all those businesses that provide services or goods,” he said. “There’s no doubt having Ironman in with such an international reputation, with such a longstanding high quality event it just makes it just takes it over the top.”
According to the Whistler Pique, Ironman Canada still had one year before the contract with Whistler was set to expire, however it was a metal decision to part ways.
Nestor Municipality of Whistler chief administrative officer Mike Furey told the Pique that there was between $250,000 and $282,000 in cash and in-kind commitments annually.