WHISTLER, BC August 6, 2009 – Whistler is readying itself to welcome the world with Kokanee Crankworx, the world’s largest freeride mountain bike festival, kicking off in just two days. Now in its sixth year, the event has grown from a grassroots celebration of gravity-fueled mountain biking, to a festival spanning nine days; drawing over 300 of the world’s best mountain bike athletes, over 150 accredited media and tens of thousands of spectators.
“Kokanee Crankworx is another great opportunity for Whistler to test its ability to host a major event,” says Jeremy Roche, General Manager of Kokanee Crankworx. “Our pinnacle event, the Monster Energy Slopestyle, drew over 20,000 spectators to the base of Whistler Mountain last year and on Saturday, August 15 we are anticipating to host at least that many again.”
Kokanee Crankworx’s free events, coupled with incredible deals on accommodation and dining in Whistler, bode well for a successful festival, and are expected to drive attendance as visitors seek out high-value experiences this summer..
“This summer we are seeing strong numbers from our destination and regional visitors. This speaks to the momentum and strength of the mountain bike industry, and to the kinds of experiences Whistler Blackcomb offers in the summer, as well as some of the great deals that can be found,” says Roche. “Whistler is now on the ‘must-do’ list with experiences like the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola; and events like Kokanee Crankworx where sport merges with art and music to create an incredible festival experience.”
Kokanee Crankworx will feature free, world-class mountain bike competitions; the Deraylor Music Festival featuring artists like K-OS; and the inaugural Saint Deep Summer Photo Challenge slideshow event at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The Crankworx calendar features mountain bike events nearly every day, a Bike Expo and Demo Zone snaking through the village, and athletic spectacles around every bend including the mind-blowing technique of trials gurus Ryan Leech and the Baia Brothers. For those who can’t be in Whistler, organizers are anticipating a worldwide, online audience of over 150,000 through live feeds of the following events in the Pacific Time Zone: Air Downhill, August 13, 5:30-7:30pm; the VW Trick Showdown, August 14, 6-9pm; and the iconic Monster Energy Slopestyle, August 15, 5:30-7:30pm on Go211.com and www.crankworx.com.
While Whistler Blackcomb has been affected by two wildfires on Blackcomb Mountain in the last week, they have been quickly managed thanks to the Ministry of Forests and Range, the Whistler Fire Department and Whistler Blackcomb staff. At this point there is no concern that wildfires could impact Kokanee Crankworx as these occurrences have been in isolated areas high on Blackcomb Mountain. Extreme caution is being exercised with on-mountain operations, and sightseeing and hiking continues on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.