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There are several events for participants and spectators over the main Apple Blossom Festival weekend. The Tour de Bloom Cycling Race is a three day event that includes a Leavenworth Road Race on Friday May 5, The Mission Ridge Hill Climb and the Downtown Wenatchee Criterium on Saturday, and the Waterville Road Race on Sunday.
The 26th Apple Blossom Run will once again take place prior to the Grand Parade Saturday, and will be on the parade route. Then, following the parade, the Rugrat Nation 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, for boys & girls grades K-3, is at Pybus Public Market starting at 2pm. There’s even more basketball action throughout Saturday and Sunday at Wenatchee Valley College, with the Apple Blossom Festival 3-on-3 Tournament. All of these events are free to spectators.
In the sports tourism business, there often is a gradual transformation from one season to the other. Some ‘downtime’ between the end of seasonal sports, and the beginning of the next round. I am always reminded this time of year that is not the case when going from winter to spring in the Wenatchee Valley. As an example, the weekend of March 25th saw not only the culmination of the 6-day FIS Regional Open Ski Races at Mission Ridge, but also a 32 team lacrosse tournament at Walla Walla Point Park. The next two weekends saw the Buddy Werner Ski Championships at MR, and the 135 team Triple Crown Youth Baseball Tournament that utilized nearly every baseball diamond in the Wenatchee Valley (26 actually).
The simultaneous scheduling between significant skiing competitions and field events such as golf, lacrosse and baseball is unusual and mostly impossible to pull off in most regions in the world. But that is one of the unique features of where we live, affording residents the opportunity to enjoy two completely different sports seasons at the same time. And the economic impact coming in from 2 different directions concurrently is a major bonus. March and April, considered to be a shoulder season in many areas of the Pacific Northwest, will account for well over $2.5 million in estimated sports tourism economic impact in the Valley. A tremendous boost to hotels, restaurants and retailers at a time most areas are in the process of shifting gears into spring. No shifting of gears here. Just the pedal to the floor.
The momentum kept moving forward last Saturday with the Wenatchee Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K Races. Approximately 700 participants not only got to enjoy the surroundings the course offers, but for serious racers, it served as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Even more importantly, proceeds from the race go to cancer research and local charities. Throw in the $200,000+ being spent by visitors at area businesses, and it becomes obvious there are a lot of positive ramifications coming from this event alone. And to showcase our versatility even further, Saturday also signaled the opening weekend of the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, the first of 13 race dates scheduled there in 2017.
Through the rest of April, there are four more softball tournaments, plus the Horse Lake Trail Runs on the 29th. No ‘downtime’ in these parts whether you are a participant, spectator, or are reaping the benefits from a business perspective.
Matt Kearny is Sports Tourism Coordinator for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 was a record-setting year for sports tourism spending in the Wenatchee Valley. Bolstered by economic impact in a wide variety of categories, an estimated $8.35 million was spent here by visitors participating in or attending tournaments and events, according to analysis compiled by Wenatchee Valley Sports. This is up 9.7% over the previous high, set in 2015. Sports impact has been measured in the Wenatchee Valley annually since 2007. Youth baseball/softball led the way at $1.17m, followed by adult softball at $1.06m. Next, in order, are Special Olympics Winter Games, ski racing at Mission Ridge, running, and youth basketball.
Overall numbers were bolstered by the US Figure Skating Regionals in October at Town Toyota Center, State Gymnastics competition in April, and strong showings by swimming, youth hockey and cycling. The largest single event in terms of economic impact was the Washington Winter Games Special Olympics in March, generating an estimated $616,937. They will return for their 26th year here March 3-5. It’s important to note that these figures include spending only by visitors, not locals, and for tournaments and events, not general recreation. Two popular local entities that provide strong overall economic impact are the Wenatchee Wild and Wenatchee AppleSox. Those teams and others such as the Rams and Wenatchee FC were heavily dependent on spending by locals…very important in terms of overall economic impact, but not so on the tourism side of the equation.
A number of business categories reap the benefits of sports tourism, most notably lodging and food. It is estimated these events drove 27,676 room nights in 2016, also a record, and an increase of 2,000+ over the previous year. This contributed to the success lodging in the Wenatchee Valley experienced in 2016, which realized a 2.1% overall increase in occupancy for the year.
Families and individuals in the Wenatchee Valley interested in connecting with local youth sports organizations will once again have that opportunity Saturday, January 21st. The Wenatchee Valley Youth Sports & Activities Fair will take place in the lower level of the Wenatchee Convention Center from 10am-2pm. Last year, over 30 organizations were on hand with an opportunity to explain details ranging from what is needed for equipment, the expectation of commitment, such as time requirements, and in some cases, the possibility of registering on the spot. The idea is ‘1-stop shopping’ for families to gain exposure to many of the opportunities available for area youth in a wide range of sports and activities.
Besides dozens of information booths, there will be a number of actual demonstrations taking place, giving an insight into the benefits of specific organizations. Some examples of demos or interaction include basketball, karate, and the Wenatchee Youth Circus. There is no admission charge for the public. Proceeds from booth sales benefit the Wenatchee Valley Sports Foundation Youth Scholarship Participation Fund, helping kids from needy families have the opportunity to afford to participate in sports and activities.
The Youth Sports & Activities Fair is held in conjunction with the Wenatchee Downtown Bundle-Up Festival. In the lower parking lot behind the Convention Center, at the entrance to the Fair, will be other fun activities, including a petting zoo, hay rides and s’mores. Also, the popular Bundle-Up Run will have the start & finish line in the same area. The Kid’s 1K Run begins at 11:30, with the Adult 5K starting at noon. The Apple Capital Loop Trail provides a majority of the course. The run this year is sponsored the Wenatchee Schools Cross Country Program.
It all adds up to a few hours of information and activities for all ages to enjoy!
Mission Ridge opens for nine consecutive Saturday nights of Night Skiing and the Mountain Music Series this Saturday night 12/31. Night Skiing runs from 4pm-8pm on Chair 4 while the Mountain Music Series kicks off around 6pm inside the Hampton Lodge on the Ka Wham Cafe side. Music and dinner specials can be enjoyed from both the Ka Wham Cafe and the Chair 5 Pub inside the Hampton Lodge and all Mountain Music Series events are open to all ages and are fun for the entire family. Whether you head up to ski or just want to enjoy a rockin’ show, Mission Ridge is the place to be Saturday nights through the end of February.
Lift tickets for Night Skiing are just $20 per night, $5 if upgraded from the current Saturday’s day lift ticket, or individuals can purchase the Night Ski Pass, good for every night of Night Ski operations for only $99.
Presented by Gesa Credit Union, this 4-day event (Dec. 20-23) showcases boys & girls high school teams from Everett, Lynnwood, Lake Stevens, Camas, Yakima, Wenatchee, Eastmont, Moses Lake, Chelan, Cashmere, Waterville, Wilson Creek, Entiat and Almira-Coulee-Hartline.
WENATCHEE– The Wenatchee AppleSox have expanded and updated their 2017 Youth Camps, the organization announced, Wednesday. AppleSox players and coaches will conduct three-day camps, three times in 2017, and the team is excited to announce two one-day mini camps for separate age groups.
“Youth Camps have always been a staple of our organization, and head coach Kyle Krustangel, along with the next great group of AppleSox players are excited to share the game they love with our local community,” co-owner Jim Corcoran said. “Our players and coaches have a great time bonding with local youth on many different occasions throughout the season, and we are particularly excited to have 11 opportunities to facilitate these connections on the diamond this summer.”
This year, the AppleSox will run three-day camps with emphases on pitching/catching (June 27-29), hitting (July 11 -13), and a combination of all skills (Aug. 1-3).
Two one-day mini camps will focus on all skills, with local youth ages 6-11 (June 12) and ages 12-18 (July 24).
Camp days last three hours, from 9 a.m. to noon and are conducted at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium on the campus of Wenatchee Valley College. The cost to register for any three-day camp is $89, and each of the one-day mini camps are priced at $39.
Local youth and their friends/families can sign up to attend the camps at www.applesoxcamps.com or on the first day of each camp at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, starting at 8:30 a.m. A $10 late fee will be applied for day-of registrations. Wenatchee AppleSox youth camps are for kids who want to enhance their baseball skills. Participants will learn techniques to improve hitting, fielding, pitching and catching from AppleSox players and coaches.
AppleSox players come from a wide range of nationally renowned college baseball programs and are among the best players in their class. They are still developing their skills and techniques, which creates a tremendous learning atmosphere. The team is proud of the quality instruction in all the fundamentals of the game that the AppleSox camps provide, and encourages self-improvement within each player. The coaches will be dedicated to helping young players come closer to reaching their baseball dreams, and the goal is for each player to walk away with a positive experience, better baseball fundamentals, and a smile on their face.
Wenatchee, WA — Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort will open for its 50th anniversary season with limited operations this Friday December 2, 2016. The start of December looks to bring cold temps and increasing chances of natural snowfall and with that expanded terrain openings as well.
The mountain will open with Chairs 1, 2 and the Pika Peak rope tow in operation. The ski school will be open, as well as the Chair 5 Pub and Ka Wham Cafe with early season menus. The #100LAPS Terrain Park will not be open this weekend and has a planned opening date of Dec. 10 conditions permitting.
Current forecasts call for cloudy skies and chances of snow throughout the weekend.
Lift ticket prices will be discounted to $39 for ages 25-69 and $29 for ages 10-24 to reflect the limited opening of chairlifts and terrain. Lift tickets for ages 9 & under will be $5 and $15 for ages 70+.
Firefighter and Emergency Personnel Appreciation: To say thank you for their service, Mission Ridge will be honoring Firefighters, EMTs, and Law Enforcement professionals by providing free skiing and riding from opening day through the third weekend in December. We welcome both active duty emergency responders and 2016 summer seasonal personnel to enjoy time on the mountain.