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Vernon's Ironman bid left in limbo

Vernon council is considering a bid on hosting Ironman Canada. - Black Press photo
Vernon council is considering a bid on hosting Ironman Canada.
— image credit: Black Press photo

It's still unknown if Vernon will host world-class triathletes.

City council instructed staff Monday afternoon to prepare a bid package to host Ironman Canada. But a decision on submitting the proposal to Ironman's parent company won't be made until Sept. 21.

"There are still some gaps we need to fill in," said Coun. Brian Quiring.

Among the issues staff has been asked to look at are finding a major sponsor, bringing regional jurisdictions on board, developing a budget and considering ways to enlist volunteers.

"There's a short period of time (submission deadline is Sept. 24) and a comprehensive bid needs to be put together," said Quiring.

Look for more details in Wednesday's Morning Star.

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No quick decisions are being made over Ironman Canada.

Vernon council briefly discussed a proposed bid for Ironman Canada during its Monday morning session. Officials have now gone behind closed doors to discuss financial terms of a potential bid because other communities will also being competing for hosting rights.

A decision is expected at this afternoon's public session.

During the morning meeting, council heard from local running enthusiasts.

"We have everything it takes to put this on," said Melissa Spooner, an Ironman champion.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Vernon needs this, Vernon wants this."

Support for the bid also came from Ingrid Dilschneider, director of sales and marketing at Predator Ridge Resort.

"It will have a positive economic impact on Vernon. Vernon needs a win and we believe this is a win," she said.

However, some politicians are worried about the financial expectations that hosting would place on the city — possibly $400,000 a year.

There are also questions as to why Penticton severed its ties with Ironman after 30 years.

"There had to have been some significant issues for them to go away from Ironman," said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

Bid packages must be submitted by Sept. 24 to Tampa, Fla.-based World Triathlon Corporation, owner of Ironman. WTC wants a five-year commitment from the successful community.

Check out www.vernonmorningstar.com this afternoon for more details.

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