2012 - Williams Lake, fondly referred to by mountain bikers as 'The Puddle' is well known for having some of the best trails in British Columbia. It is so well known that in a recent bike magazine article, Mitchell Scott referred to the area as 'the Shangri-La of mountain biking'. Word is quickly travelling about the stellar trails that Williams Lake has to offer.
The City of Williams Lake is ready to gain international exposure and to spread the word that their trails are world class. In 2010, the City of Williams Lake was able to complete a marketing feasiblity study on the strategic trails development and marketing, and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium was able to launch a marketing initiative.
With the continued support of Northern Development and the City, the Williams Lake Cycling Club also developed infrastructure at the new Boitanio Bike Park to the already diverse mountain biking offerings. The bike park includes jumps, stunts, and dirt tracks, and is comparable to bike parks at major resorts around the province. In addition to the hundreds of miles of trails in and around Williams Lake, visitors to the area can now practice stunts and show off their skills right downtown at the Boitanio Bike Park.
At the opening event of the Boitanio Bike Park in 2010, over 250 riders participated, and over 100 spectators attended. It was a successful kick off event that has led to Williams lake hosting a regional event in 2011, with many more to follow. The ever increasing number of trails along with the construction of the bike skills park is adding to the marketability of Williams Lake. The area is already a well known hub for biking, and is well on its way to being known internationally. By supporting the sport, the City has seen multiple economic benefits including increased sports tourism, increased revenue for local bike related businesses, revenue from events that attract visitors to Williams Lake, and increased tourist spending at local hotels and restaurants.
As Williams Lake gains exposure through the events that are hosted in and around the city, endless opportunities will arise. By working collaboratively with the local cycling club, and by continuing to support the sport of mountain biking, the City of Williams Lake will sustain a diversified economy that benefits all.