Dreadnaught Ski Racing drives local tourism
The ski season this year was notable for all the wrong reasons. Unseasonably warm in February, unseasonable cold in April.
But Dreadnaught Ski Racing persisted and is helping to grow the ski tourism market, with an estimated economic impact of over $400,000 this season in Kimberley.
The Dreadnaught Ski Race Series, which ran 33 days of racing between January and March, is a cooperative effort between the Kimberley Alpine Racing Club, the Kimberley Alpine Resort, and the Kimberley Disabled Skier Association.
The resurgence in ski racing this year saw 3,160 competitor days between Keurig, NorAm IPC, Masters, and Zone races. Dreadnaught Ski Racing was aided this year by $15,000 in funding to purchase racing infrastructure including timing clocks, netting, and a power cord that extended snowmaking to the far reaches of the Dreadnaught race course.
Funding was provided by the City of Kimberley as part of the BC Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI). Kimberley is one of 14 BC communities eligible to participate in the RMI, a provincial program that provides small, tourism-based municipalities with funding to invest in tourism related infrastructure and amenities in order to grow their visitor economies.
According to volunteer organizer Donna Briggs “this race season would not have been possible without the funding for race infrastructure and the god-like grooming provided by the Kimberley Alpine Resort. Both enabled us to produce an environment and conditions that could endure one of the most difficult seasons in years.”
Mayor Don McCormick agrees "Despite the challenging conditions, feedback from coaches and competitors on our facilities and track was over the top - 'among the top half dozen in North America'. This positive experience means the teams are most likely to return. We appreciate the RMI program and the incredible commitment of the Dreadnaught Team.”
Matt Mosteller, Senior VP Marketing, Sales and Resort Experience for Kimberley Alpine Resort and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies suggests ski racing is a model for success. “This is great example of success driven by strategy and collaboration by all parties involved - this sport tourism strategy shows real economic development through wise investment, support and dedication by volunteer leaders.”
According to Economic Development Officer Kevin Wilson, “Kimberley has received $682,342 in RMI funding since joining the program in 2007. $75,000 is anticipated in 2016 and 2017. In the coming months we will be engaging the community to identify projects for the next two years.” Those interested in applying may submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Project Manager
- Project Description
- Project rationale and benefits to tourism
- Anticipated start and completion dates
- RMI $$ requested
- Other project funding
- In-kind contributions
Projects will be evaluated by an expert committee based on their benefits to the visitor economy, project costs and funding sources.