North Okanagan communities ponder Ironman participation

North Okanagan communities are weighing the pros and cons of Ironman.

North Okanagan communities are weighing the pros and cons of Ironman.

Vernon is considering a bid for Ironman Canada, and as part of the process, nearby jurisdictions are being asked about possible involvement.

“Coldstream is most obviously essential but three potential routes have been identified and they also go through Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Lake Country and Salmon Arm,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon mayor.

With the event including a 180-kilometre bicycle ride, many rural roads would be closed and the participating jurisdiction would be responsible for traffic control.

“We have to look at the costs and what are the pay-backs to the broader community and Coldstream specifically,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream mayor.

“How will we run the community during the event when roads are closed?”

Vernon officials will provide information at a special Coldstream council meeting Monday at 5 p.m.

Enderby council will discuss the matter Monday.

“We want to see where we would fit in and what tangible benefits there would be for our community,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.

“But we also have to look strategically and at what exposure the whole region would get from such an event.”

Spallumcheen and Armstrong have already thrown their support behind a potential bid.

“I think this would bring a lot of people to the North Okanagan and bring them to our communities,” said Chris Pieper, Armstrong mayor. “I’m quite sure there will be some financial commitment and volunteering.”

There is pressure on area municipalities to determine their level of support as soon possible.

“We need an answer by Thursday so our council can consider a bid Friday,” said Sawatzky.

A bid package for 2013-2017 must be submitted to Ironman’s parent company by Sept. 24.