Like any other tourist town in beautiful British Columbia, Sun Peaks depends on local, regional and international tourist traffic and the dollars spent by those visitors to keep the wheels greased and the local economy flowing smoothly. After several years of economic uncertainty, things finally appear to be turning around in our favour. While an economist I am not, I do think that the future of this great resort community looks brighter than it has in some time.
What really set me along the path that there is light at the end of the economic downturn tunnel was the recent Canadian Enduro Championship motorcycle races held on July 9 and 10. While events like this do not meet the traditional model of mom and pop, kids in tow events at Sun Peaks, it shows that if you think out of the box, true change can come from within.
The vision of Kamloops off-road motorcycle legend Guy Perrett and his local crew, this two-day event has put Sun Peaks Resort on the map for all the off-road motorcycle enthusiasts from across Canada that came out for the inaugural race of the World Enduro Canada racing season. A record 183 riders registered for the event and to say they brought their entourages with them would be an understatement. All one needed to do was look around at all the expensive trucks with expensive dirt bikes in the backs of them, let alone all the wives, kids, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends and dogs that came along to watch them race.
Some residents and visitors may scowl at the sound of 180 dirt bikes ripping up the countryside around Sun Peaks; but the smell of money was unmistakable. Hotels were booked, restaurants were hopping and the word on the street was “Wow, this place is great, we’ve never heard of it before; everything we need is right here. We’d love to bring our snowmobiles back next winter.”
While I appreciate the fact that many people choose to visit or even live in Sun Peaks for the natural tranquillity it offers, the stark reality is that tranquillity does not pay the bills. While two-stroke motorcycle smoke may smell awful to some, it smells like money to me. In conjunction with the other Sun Peaks summer events like the Symphony of Flavours and the Retro Concert weekend, it’s the large festival/race events like this one that will truly make Sun Peaks a successful year-round destination.
A huge shout out to all the local Sun Peaks dirt bikers that put their blood, sweat and tires into making the first Sun Peaks race a true success. The grass and bushes will grow back, the mud puddles will dry and the money will stay where it belongs, right here in Sun Peaks. Hats off to all the organizers, volunteers and the many Sun Peaks businesses and organizations involved in making sure this new breed of Sun Peaks visitor keeps coming back year after year. Now let’s talk $nowmobile racing, shall we?