Cranbrook Tourism eyeing potential of big sporting events
Cranbrook Tourism is about to begin work, in consultation with the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, to explore Cranbrook’s potential to host more large-scale sporting events here in the future.
While hockey, soccer and ball tournaments are a regular fixture in the city, the organization wants to explore what other provincial, national and even international events the city could host.
“Our goal is to better understand our positioning and potential,” said Cranbrook Tourism Executive Director, Kristy Jahn-Smith. “We know that very successful events like the Wasa Triathlon and the Gran Fondo are strong drivers of visitors to our region year after year. With our great airport access, the beautiful Rocky Mountain setting and the number of facilities and outdoor venues in the region, we feel this is an important exercise to go through.”
The assessment will have a three-part process, an initial community assessment, a venue assessment of local facilities, and stakeholder engagement sessions. The final report will identify where the gaps and opportunities are.
There are numerous benefits to hosting these events including the fact that they can become recurring and are also very resilient during periods of economic downturn. “Sport tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry in Canada with $6.8 billion dollars in spending by domestic and international visitors,” said Rick Traer, CEO of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.
“Cranbrook is well-positioned to expand its sport tourism capacity. The city is the largest centre in the East and West Kootenay and hosts a wide variety of excellent sports facilities, has numerous local sports clubs and enthusiastic volunteers,” said Chris New, City of Cranbrook Director of Corporate Wide Initiatives.
The City of Cranbrook has recently played host to a number of large events including the 55+ Games and the Grand Slam of Curling and will be the host of next year’s BC Curling Championships taking place from January 28 to February 2, 2020.
Jahn-Smith added, “It will be interesting to see how suitable Cranbrook is for events that are not even on our radar today. I only learned recently that Canada has a National Quidditch Championship.”
Lead image: Cranbrook has hosted numerous large-scale sporting events in the past, including the 55+ Games last year – a shared endeavour with the City of Kimberley. e-KNOW file photo