February 19, 2014 - 4:20 PM
PENTICTON - Challenge Penticton may have lost money its first year, but it’s nothing the city wasn’t expecting.
Mayor Garry Litke said the city was well aware that the triathlon was going to lose money during the first year, second and potentially third years. Profit is expected to be made by the fifth year.
The race cost $700,000 total this past summer, and resulted in a loss of $300,000. But it’s an “economic spinoff,” said Litke. While the Triathalon Race Society lost money, local hotels, restaurants and shops were full, which is positive for the city and local business, he said.
The Challenge team extended invitations to local businesses to sell in their expo - an opportunity that local merchants didn’t have with Ironman, who had exclusive arrangements with sponsors.
Penticton originally hosted Ironman Canada every summer but the organization was not benefitting the city or residents.
Before IronMan’s contract ended in summer 2012, the organization asked the city to pay fees, which came out of taxpayer dollars.
The city grabbed an opportunity to stop the exploitation when the contract expired. Ironman took everything with them, including files, planning and organization information.
Challenge Penticton was organized by a rookie team so there were going to be mistakes made, but they help make better decisions for future races, Litke said. Not only was the organizer of the Challenge new, but the team was also starting from scratch.
Last year’s hosting experience will help make the 2014 race much smoother and successful.
To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @meaghanarcher.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014