An estimated 268 skaters representing 6 western states are expected to compete in the US Figure Skating Northwest Pacific Regionals at Town Toyota Center October 5-7. Many of those have the chance to move on to sectionals competition, with an opportunity to join the US Figure Skating Team (can you say “Olympics?”).This is a significant event for the Wenatchee Valley for a number of reasons. There are only 9 regionals held in the United States, many in highly recognizable locales. Hosting figure skating clubs include the likes of St Paul, Atlanta, Salt Lake, Fort Collins, and oh by the way, Wenatchee. The Wenatchee Figure Skating Club and the Pacific Northwest Interclub Association have been in the active planning stages to hold this event over 1 ½ years. Besides having a tremendous facility, plenty of other logistical criteria needed to be vetted before the actual bid to host the event could proceed. Hotel availability was one of the first issues. There was some slight flexibility in US Figure Skating’s schedule, and it soon became apparent that the 1st weekend in October would be the best. Arrangements were then made with several key hotel properties, securing room blocks and rates. The bid process also included items such as transportation, programs, sponsorships, volunteers, and some ‘icing on the cake’ details such as support letters from our city’s mayors and other local dignitaries. It has been an undertaking of monumental proportions that the Wenatchee Figure Skating Club, along with assistance from many entities in the community, has absolutely nailed.From a sports tourism standpoint, the benefits are many. Obviously there will be significant spending from the competitors and their accompaniment, but the residual effect has tremendous potential. Anytime you can host an event with regional appeal, it increases exposure. Event organizers from other sports throughout the northwest will be reminded of the opportunities that await them in the Wenatchee Valley if they choose this place. Simply put, it helps open doors.We encourage you to treat yourself to a unique competition – a sport that combines amazing grace and beauty, displayed with a true competitive grit, with a lot on the line. It’s something that doesn’t happen here every day. In fact, this is the first time this competition has ever been held here. Enjoy!
October 2, 2014
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