The Williams Lake Cycling Club hosts two annual events in Williams Lake each summer that attract mountain bikers from across B.C. (Pedal by the Puddle and Peel Out).
This year the events attracted 347 competitors, and more than half of those were from out of the Cariboo region.
“Our goal is to contribute to the diversification of the Cariboo regional economy as we realize the effects of the mountain pine beetle,” said Justin Calof, executive director of the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium. “We are continuously interested in partnerships with governments and business that can help achieve this goal.”
Events that attract out of region tourists have a significant impact on the economy. City staff, using the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model, has calculated the economic impact of the 2012 events resulted in more than $45,000 of new money being spent in Williams Lake.
“Partnering with the Williams Lake Cycling Club and Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium helps to maximize marketing dollars and reach tens of thousands of potential cycling tourists,” said Coun. Laurie Walters, chair of the community services committee. “Strategic promotion of these world-class recreation assets and local events is proving to be a great return on investment for our community.”
The City of Williams Lake continues to be a supporter of mountain biking and has an official partnership with the Williams Lake Cycling Club. The city and club, along with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, the Cariboo Regional District, Tourism BC, Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition has launched a comprehensive marketing campaign in an effort to attract even more mountain bike tourists to the region.
Since the initiative began in 2012, there has been a substantial increase in mountain bike tourist spending.