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City's triathlon investment proves costly for Penticton taxpayers

In this file photo, Jeff Symonds crosses the finish line first in the 2014 Challenge Penticton, along with the balloon kids. The City of Penticton lost $309,540 following a two year investment in the Challenge Triathlon.
Image Credit: Valley First Challenge Penticton
June 12, 2015 - 12:26 PM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton has divested itself of the Challenge Penticton race with the dissolution of the Penticton Triathlon Race Society and it turns out the city’s investment in the race wasn’t a great one from a taxpayer’s point of view.

The City spent $377,022 to run Challenge in the first year and $232,518 in the second year, for a total of $609,540. Under terms of an agreement with the new owners of Challenge made available in a media release, the City is “guaranteed” repayment of $300,000 over the next five years, leaving city council with a loss on their investment of $309,540 for the two years of races run under its stewardship.

The City took on the race through the Penticton Triathlon Society in 2012 with a view that it would take "investment" over a few years to ensure the long term success of the race, communications officer Simone Blais says in the release.

“It is important to remember the city would have been paying for the other brand (Ironman) as well - $120,000 plus incremental fees,” mayor Andrew Jakubeit says. “We’re confident a solid foundation has been built and a long distance race will continue to grow into the premier triathlon event in Canada."

Jakubeit says the city had no regrets in making the change to Challenge from Ironman three years ago. He says the city will continue to provide more than $100,000 worth of in-kind services to the Penticton Challenge Triathlon under new race owners Kevin Cutjar and Michael Brown.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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