EDITORIAL: Time for Penticton to bring out the welcoming mat

Just as businesses need to put out the welcome mat, so do all members of the community.

More than ever, Penticton needs to put out the welcome mat this week.

That’s not to say the city is ever less than welcoming, but this year’s Challenge Penticton race — or perhaps races would be better — have a significance that makes it important Penticton puts its best foot forward. This series of races, culminating in the long course triathlon on Sunday, are qualifiers for the International Triathlon Union World Championships that, incidentally, Penticton is hosting in 2017.

This is truly a chance for Penticton to shine, and that goes for more than just the volunteers helping make sure the races go smoothly. With all these athletes in town to compete in the duathlon, aquathlon, cross-tri and the big race on Sunday, this is one of those times Penticton needs to make the best impression possible.

Penticton has a long history of proving it can successfully host large-scale sports events, but with the eyes of the sporting world and more on us this year and next, we also need to show the world that Penticton is the place to be, and its worth spending more time here than just the few days related to your particular event.

What people see of us this week translates into credit when the city is bidding for other sporting events, like the 2018 Scotties. It also translates into more tourist visits and by extension, the possibility of more residents.

Just as businesses need to put out the welcome mat, so do all members of the community.

When you find yourself irritated by road closures, slow traffic and the other difficulties that go with hosting these big events, keep in mind that putting up with temporary frustration has long-range benefits for all the businesses and citizens of the community.