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Mountain bike economy on menu

Richard Juryn to speak at next chamber lunch

Less than five years ago, North Vancouver’s Richard Juryn was a fledgling event organizer looking to create a series of races and festivals to celebrate different aspects of the sport.

Now he is one of the directors of Shore Events, which runs the World Mountain Bike Conference, as well as the director of sponsorship and expos for Crankworx, which is one of the largest and most successful mountain bike festivals in the world.

Through those events, and a host of other projects, Juryn has helped move mountain biking from the fringes into the mainstream, supporting riders while giving local governments and businesses an opportunity to come to grips with the sport — and realize the social, health, and economic benefits of supporting trails and the bike community.

Juryn will give a special presentation on “the cycling economy” at the next Whistler Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Wednesday, June 20.

According to a study by the newly created B.C. Mountain Bike Tourism Association, funded in part by local governments and the provincial Ministry of Tourism and the Arts, mountain biking contributes more than $10.3 million annually to Sea to Sky, from the North Shore trails to Pemberton. When the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and Crankworx are taken into account, the impact exceeds $38 million a year.

Tourism Whistler held a Mountain Biking Opportunity Session in May to discuss the potential for leveraging mountain biking to increase tourism, as well as to tap into the influx of riders to the community. One of the outcomes of that meeting is an increased focus on mountain biking when advertising and promoting Whistler as a summer destination.