Dec 1, 2009 | Marmot, Winter 2009

Mountain Biking… Summer’s Big Winner

Summer was pleasant at Mount Washington in 2009, in more ways than one.

Where Tourism B.C. was forecasting a decrease in tourist traffic across the board, that didn’t happen at the Alpine Resort, Public Relations Director Brent Curtain said.

Mountain biking “was gangbusters. It was phenomenal,” Curtain said, which made up for any perceived shortfall. That didn’t come as a surprise to Resort staff, which has spent the past three years improving their existing trail network instead of expanding territory. As a result, “Our trails are buff. Very buff,” Curtain said, “as a result, people are very pleased with the conditions and word spread like wildfire.”

The Resort again hosted a B.C. Cup Race, drawing 200 riders from all over the Province and more to watch.

Mountain biking events weren’t the only ones to be successful last summer, he added. “All our events this summer did really well.”

The Alpine Food Festival had a strong showing for its second year, filling most of the classes and seeing the marketplace on Sunday well attended. The timing over Labour Day weekend was better, and the Resort is looking at keeping that date for 2010, Curtain said.

If there was one area where Tourism B.C.’s prediction came true for Mount Washington, it was in chairlift trips. Not as many people came up and took the mile high ride.

“In a normal summer season you’ll hear lots of accents from Europe and beyond,” but the Resort saw a decrease in the number of international visitors that usually stop in on their way between Victoria and Tofino, Curtain said.

He expects that exposure from German and Swedish media this winter, when those country’s athletes visit Mount Washington for pre-Olympic training, will bring the focus to those countries.

“When the economy turns around and people from overseas start traveling again…that’s a good spin-off from having those teams here.”

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