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Tourism Pemberton promoting stories during Olympics

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Pemberton is still chasing after its piece of the Olympic pie with the tourism bureau's launch of an online Media Gateway designed to capture the attention of international media.

Tourism Pemberton has launched the gateway with a series of "story-starters" that it hopes can coax international media to look a little further north from Whistler and help promote Spud Valley as a prime tourist destination, according to Chair Tracey Rozsypalek.

"It's such a unique opportunity and it's kind of an unknown," she said. "The Olympics are just such a one-off event, we're hoping there'll be a lot of interest in Pemberton and that's just what we're focusing our attention on, is just trying to draw some attention to Pemberton."

The website, which can be found at www.tourismpemberton.com/media, pitches a series of stories about people and places in and around the valley, with particular focus on how Pemberton is a year-round tourist destination.

The "Gateway to Summer Adventure" heading pitches paragliding and skydiving as prime summer activities.

Advertising Pemberton as "one of only two soaring sites in Canada," the site promotes the valley as a great location for gliding because it gives thrill seekers an opportunity to jump out of an airplane 10,000 feet in the air, then fall to the ground in the shadow of the 8,000 foot Mount Currie.

Winter activities, meanwhile, include sled-skiing - an activity for which Pemberton has been cited by the New York Times as the epicentre.

Cross-country and skate-skiers can cruise along a new track set on the fairways at the Meadows at Pemberton golf course and take snowcat and helicopter ski and snowboard trips to wilderness areas that lie well off the beaten path.

Other story starters include the myriad snowmobiling opportunities around town - opportunities that will soon be the focus of a segment on Snowtracks TV.

"It should be airing in four weeks' time," Rozsypalek said. "It's one of the most pouplar TV programs and it's shown on Outdoor Network and TSN and TSN2. They also have a subsequent magazine.

"Pemberton snowmobiling will be featured in the TV show... which is great, because it's a winter activity. It seems as if Pemberton's more showcased in the summer activities but there are some really great winter activities going on in Pemberton."

People promoted as story subjects include Araxi Head Chef James Walt, who uses Pemberton produce in dishes at the internationally-renowned restaurant. Walt works closely with Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef, whose proprietors work to raise happy, drug-free cattle, according to the website.

Other prominent figures from the valley include Tyler Schramm, whose vodka factory in the Pemberton Industrial Park is starting to gain traction with the public. His vodka, produced from distilled potatoes, will occupy a prominent place in B.C. Liquor Stores and Rozsypalek thinks it could be a big draw for media in 2010.

"I do expect the Pemberton Distillery to get some notice," she said.

The site offers these tips along with an image bank containing photos by people such as Chris Ankeny, Dave Steers and Jonathan Kirby, all of them available to media when they develop stories about Pemberton.

Tourism Pemberton is also producing a postcard to be distributed at accredited and non-accredited media centres in Vancouver and Whistler.

 

 

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