Ironman Is Great Business For Business!

It’s that time of year…when, after 29 years, Suburu Ironman Canada descends upon our town with a flush of fever and excitement, advancing its legacy as Penticton’s leading tourism appeal. Myriad of emotions swell like a ripping current through the air. The whole region is abuzz with sensation. Like a receding tide of what’s to come, the world seems to withdraw, awaiting the roaring rush of an exhale – when the simmering complex of anxiety, prospect, determination, dedication, struggle and perseverance, boils over to devour the senses and send everything spinning. Athletes and non-athletes alike, rejoice in the coming together of many different people, from many different walks of life, hailing from many different places worldwide. The business of Ironman is more than just an exciting race, it is a livelihood, an upsurge of energy, a spike in the local host economy, an accelerator of collective cooperation within the community… In not so many words, Ironman for Penticton, is what a ginseng shot does for a fatigued system. Yes, it’s true, the spice of the late season has a biting affect on the spirit of any community – it’s late summer – and we are full-bellied and dizzy from too much of everything – yet the Ironman defibrillator jump-starts a renewed enthusiasm back into the body of our general public. Everyone seems to benefit one way or another from the contingency of the franchise, like rain that gives life to earth, we can see a flowering of business all around – from our petrol stations, to the full occupancy in our hotels and restaurants, to the queues at our local cafes and ice cream parlors; from the merchandise purchased at our local boutiques, to the pounds of fresh organic produce bought at our roadside fruit stands and markets – during Ironman week, the South Okanagan sees a short-lived revival of all the summer’s glory packed into one full jaunt of exhilaration and excitement! A recent study looked at the economic impact of Suburu Ironman Canada on Penticton’s local economy, which revealed that from 2004, the estimated revenue is believed to be around $12.5 million. With each Ironman participant bringing with them, on average, three and a half guests, and staying roughly seven days, this sudden swell of a visiting populous, one third the size of Penticton’s overall population, has undoubtedly a lasting affect on our community’s socioeconomic landscape. It not only stimulates local tourism and business – but reshapes, molds and creates an affirming, outwardly projected vibe and energy about our town that is carried forth into a greater, worldwide consciousness. Therefore it’s safe to say Suburu Ironman Canada, as a franchise, is not only one of the most iconic events in the South Okanagan, but is the fire engine to our local economy. While athletes from all around the world come together to compete in one of the toughest, most grueling international races, we, Pentictonites, not only get the chance to showcase the true quality of our lifestyle on the world’s stage, but we also get to partake and contribute to this unbelievably unique experience, which only such spectacles as the Suburu Ironman Canada can truly produce!

-Elizabeth Cucnik

The Chronicles of Munson Mountain…

Have you ever heard a whispering in the wind when climbing the gentle slope of Munson Mountain?  Along the historic KVR trail, were you ever silenced by the abrupt presence of a befalling mystery, suddenly suspended all around you like a thick plume of smoke?  What made you pause a brief moment to hush those around you because you may or may not have heard a humming in the air…?  And yet the haunting feeling follows, a melodic thought that weaves in and out of consciousness, undoubtedly some cryptic song sung across the valley’s extending plateaus of orchards and vineyards…  Indeed the Okanagan Valley has its fair share of secrets and complexities.  It is ruled by a deep-set, bellowing ancientness that has a sobering affect on the senses.  The valley is kingdom to the old and new, both an Eden of treasures and a trench of unyielding willfulness.  Its vision began with one, drawn out breath of fire and smoke, heat and ash, 50 million years past, when Hephaistos ruled with an iron fist and Vulcan molded Cenozoic landscapes by the craftmanship of his fiery forge.  The earth expanded and contracted, grew hot and cold, and with each push and pull, the labour of its own birth slowly began to form what we now love and cherish as the unparalleled beauty of the Okanagan Valley.  Amidst its struggle, the earth created in its bosom, a bequest of riches.  Diamonds, forged from the draft of creation, line the darkness below with light from above.  They were usurped by an ancient magma and brought close to the Earth’s surface through the rumblings of deep volcanic eruptions, where they cooled and crystallized.  Like a treasure chest tethered by a map, the many trails and roadways weaving along the Naramata Bench, potentially lead to this invaluable source.  For Pentictonites who continue to listen carefully to the Earth’s whispers and songs, it is known – this untapped, legendary source, like a secret stash of wealth hidden beneath our mattress.  One such individual shares this intuition.  His heroic impetus now pioneers the search for this earthly dowry among the inconspicuous landscape of the South Okanagan.  An explorer in his own right, Marko Cucnik, young in years, wise in congenital and instinctual wisdoms, advances the chase.  Following the prehistoric trail of ash and fire, like the passage to a dragon’s liar, Marko is cautious and apprehensive.  Unwilling to disturb the sleeping giant of dormant magma and ash which festers beneath the two volcanic cores of Munson Mountain, he treads lightly.  He knows that should he dig too deep, Penticton may once again succumb to the wrath and fury of those ancient Heathen Gods.  So do these diamonds come at an impossible price?  Or are they simply a garnish in the depths, an ornamental column rather than a supporting beam?  Marko, our intrepid explorer, is out to discover the truth for us all.  And yet the murmurs beneath the mantle continue… a rumbling of sorts, reminding us, Pentictonites, of our humble beginnings, and the dealings of the deep.

-Elizabeth Cucnik

 

What Does A True Summer Make?

What does summer mean in a society full of deadlines, due dates, timelines and schedules?  In all our angst, have we forgotten the true meaning of Summer?  Summertime is nature’s parody of contentment and love, a reminder to return to the simple pleasures that bring forth great joy; it is a sigh of relief for those winter-born or winter-bound souls… summer is a relaxed idea without shape or form, a term without definition, a dear friend and a secret worth sharing.  Summertime is like a fuzzy vision of sedation, the blurriness one experiences before great clarity to which the spirit rejoices, the mind succumbs and the body rejuvenates.  Of course summer would not be summer without beaches, warmth, bodies of water, food and drink!  Yes, this is summertime folks – a season that transcends age, gender, occupancy, line of work, lifestyle, social standing – plucking us from our orbits to strip us bare from our titles, roles and responsibilities so we can simply enjoy ourselves as we are.  So if you want to truly experience true summer, there is nowhere else more true in the South Okanagan, than right here at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.  Our new private beach, adjacent to the Barking Parrot, offers sensational views of Lake Okanagan, while relaxing on our private loungers and chairs, sipping on one of our many refreshing blended or chilled alcoholic and nonalcoholic bevies and savouring each mouthful of full-flavored summer favourites off our beach menu.  This place is a hidden gem – the vertex point where summertime fuzziness meets clarity, and simple pleasures resurface an inner peace. Let’s face it, summer just wouldn’t be summer without an exclusive beach-side experience to serenade the sedentary essence of the sunny season, nor would summer be summer without the affection of an Okanagan sun to warm the chill of a lingering spring on the spirit.   Yes indeed, summer is truly summer here – the only place to experience the truth of what it means to truly let go and enjoy – without charade or invention.  So come and take a load off – forget the deadlines, the due dates, the timelines and the schedules.  Dare to leave your cell phone, your ipod, your ipad, your laptop, your “life” at home, in the car or the hotel room, and let us let go for you, if just for an afternoon!

-Elizabeth Cucnik

 

Peachfest This Weekend, All Weekend!

Just in time to restore our faith in those renowned hot South Okanagan summers, the heat wave has finally returned along with the much anticipated, annual Penticton Peach Festival (Peachfest) – a summer must-see-and-do!  People travel from all over to share in five days of free family fun, in one of the most celebrated, hip, scenic, happening places in Canada!  Peachfest runs from August 3rd to 7th, with the main stage and vendors located at Okanagan Lake Park and the Aboriginal Cultural Village held in Gyro Park on Friday and Satuday, either adjacent to or right across from the Penticton Lakeside Resort & Casino!  We are at the heart of it all this sunny season, the cultural hub of Penticton’s renowned summer festivals, with everything right here to cater to your every need while you indulge in the lively festivities.

Come and enjoy a scrumptuous breakfast on our incredible wrap-around patio at the Hooded Merganser, the only restaurant in the Okanagan located directly on Okanagan Lake, with a 180 degree, panoramic view of the lake, beaches and sweeping valley, before heading out to catch all the live acts and music right at our doorstep.  From childhood favourites and celebs like Charlotte Diamond and American Idol Season 5 runner-up Jaydee Bixby, to African Drum and Dance, traditional Ukrainian folk dancing, hip hop and more, with Hypnotists and renowned country singers and tribute artists from ACDC to KISS, the Penticton Peach Festival has a little bit of everything for everyone.  As the day fades into twilight, take a break and relax on our lakefront patio at the Bufflehead Tapas and Pasta Room.  Our own live entertainment will take you away for an intimate evening of fabulous Mediterreanean-inspired cuisine paired with an extensive selection of local wines, serenaded by a warm midsummer’s breeze rolling gently of the edge of the extending lake that mirrors an evening sky ablaze in sunset.  It is a vision to behold and an evening you will never forget.  So strap on your sandels, grab those shades, slather on the SPF and get those taste-buds screaming for some refreshing drinks, warm tasty snacks, and sizzling summer favorites served up just the way you like it at any of our three restaurants and patios!  Come and check us out anytime day and night, while indulging in a decadent weekend of music, dance, art, history and culture!  We look forward to seeing you here, at the heart of Canada’s summer capital.

-Elizabeth Cucnik