Kamloops loses out on Ironman bid
Kamloops will not be the new home to the Ironman Canada triathlon.
While a shortlist released by event organizers the World Triathlon Corporation includes two B.C. communities — Kelowna and Whistler, as well as Hunstville, Ont. — the Tournament Capital didn’t make the cut to succeed Penticton as host of the Canadian triathlon championships.
Seven communities submitted bids to host the event, including Kelowna, Whistler, Kamloops, Vernon and Victoria in B.C.
Penticton, which had long been host of the Canadian Ironman event, decided to go with another triathlon beginning next year.
Last week, rather than attend the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray led a delegation to Florida, to present the city’s proposal in person to the World Triathlon Corporation.
Kamloops decided to submit its proposal electronically.
When asked by KTW to comment on Kelowna’s aggressive approach, Tournament Capital co-ordinator Sean Smith said Kamloops opted to not make a promotional trip.
“I don’t think a decision is going to be made on whether to host an event because the bid was delivered in person,” he said.
According to the World Triathlon Corporation, the selection of the three Canadian finalists was based on criteria as stated in the bid process that closed on Sept. 24.
Mayor Peter Milobar said it’s disappointing to be out of the running for the event, but added the city’s Ironman bid was serious and put together well.
“Our bid didn’t really pan out, but it wasn’t for lack or trying or seriousness or financial commitment or anything like that,” he said.
“I think we were very serious. We were in the ball game. We weren’t just hoping our reputation carried the day.”
As part of the bid, the city had agreed to commit $75,000 in cash and more than $100,000 in in-kind services to the triathlon — which Milobar had suggested could have delivered about $15 million in economic spinoffs to the Kamloops.
Milobar said he hasn’t heard a reason why WTC opted not to go with the Kamloops bid.
“We always knew there were a couple little technical pieces on the course that may have been problematic, depending on how they wanted to view it or not,” he said.
“Whether they wanted to stay close to the airport that would’ve been the point of entry for Penticton normally, if they’re going to stay in this region or not, who knows?”
Though Kamloops is out of the running, Milobar once again declined to reveal details of the city’s suggested Ironman route — which is being looked at as a possible starting point for a new, Kamloops-organized event.
“The neat thing out of all of this is there’s now people within the triathlon world in Kamloops going, ‘Maybe we can do something that’s not tied to anything else’,” Milobar said.
As part of the next phase in the selection process, Ironman staff will conduct in-depth visits to each finalist community.
Ironman expects to announce the host for the 2013 Ironman Canada, as well as additional event-related details, by mid-October.