One of the summer’s busiest events is staying in Penticton for the foreseeable future.
The Okanagan Granfondo and City of Penticton have reached an agreement to keep the event local for five more years.
As part of the deal, the city secured naming rights to the event. It will now be called the Okanagan Granfondo Penticton.
The 11th edition of the race is scheduled for July 9, 2023.
The bike race made stops in Penticton, Summerland, Kaleden, Okanagan Falls and Oliver last July and featured more than 3,000 registered participants, with 70 per cent of travelling riders staying in the city for a minimum of three days.
“All the riders couldn’t speak highly enough of Penticton and can’t wait to return,” says Jodi Cross of the Okanagan Granfondo. “With this partnership, we have the confidence to not only continue but grow this event and introduce new training opportunities bringing athletes here in the shoulder season.”
According to the city, the estimated economic impact for this coming year will be $7.48 million.
Granfondo organizers say they are looking at adding local training opportunities during the shoulder season.
“We saw the impact that tourism has on Penticton as we returned to large gatherings last summer,” said Penticton mayor Julius Bloomfield.
“There’s the energy brought by visitors to our community and there is the economic impact of the dollars they bring in. It’s important we continue to market ourselves as a destination, provide visitors and residents with annual events to look forward to and that’s what these investments do.”
The city has committed $20,000 per year for Granfondo.
The now-called Okanagan Granfondo Penticton was recently named the best cycling event in Canada and second best in North America, according to the 2023 Gran Fondo Guide Awards. It trailed only the Tour de Big Bear in Southern California for events continent-wide.
Penticton’s race returned last summer after a multi-year pandemic hiatus and welcomed riders who competed across four different categories, ranging in distance from 48 kilometres to 153 kilometres.