News » Whistler

Pemberton saw spike in visits thanks to Ironman



Ironman got a thumbs-up at a debriefing and survey session held by organizers at the Pemberton Community Centre on Aug. 27.

David Mackenzie of the Pemberton Valley Lodge said the weeks of cycling training by racers meant they got to know Pemberton before they had to race through it on Aug. 25.

"What was most impressive was the number of people who came to our community prior to the event," he said, adding that it was clear that Ironman would bring more tourism visitors to the community in the long term.

"People tell me they want to bring their families here next year or come back another time."

Valerie Megeney, owner-operator of Lillooet River Lodge, said she thought the day was well organized and had no impact on her business.

"Everyone who had somewhere to go left early and we were able to see the bicycles arrive here and it was a great and exciting moment for Pemberton," she said.

Julie Kelly volunteered at the event, handing competitors' supplies to them in front of the pharmacy on Frontier Street and had a great day, but next year she would like to see more volunteers at her station to make things run more smoothly.

"I'd like to see double, 50. I had 35 sign up and 10 or so didn't show," Kelly said. "I think it would be better spread out more, one person to 25 bags instead of one person to 100 bags."

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and the Village of Pemberton are doing their own survey to gauge reaction. It is available on the VOP website until Sept. 15.