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New operators for Challenge

Two men with significant experience in the triathlon community are now the operators of Challenge Penticton Canada.

The announcement that Kevin Cutjar and Michael Brown are the new leaders was made Tuesday morning by Mayor Garry Litke, who was accompanied by Cutjar.

"I'm very pleased with this. They do have a reputation in the triathlon community and we do want the race to grow, because of the economic spinoff," said Litke. "In 2013, that amount was almost $6 million."

According to Litke, the running of the race was previously assigned to a nonprofit board and their responsibility was to run it on behalf of the city for the last two years.

It soon became obvious, however, that this is a million dollar business that requires the attention of a full time business operator, he said.

"The city was absorbing a deficit on the operation of the race, and as a result chose to assign the license to a private operator who would then be responsible for all finances related to the race," he said.

Last spring it went to an RFP process to look for expressions of interest and there was a number of people interested.

Cutjar and Brown were primarily selected because they were offering the city $300,000 for the license and again because of their extensive experience.

As of Monday, Aug. 25, they officially took the reins, with a five year contract.

Cutjar said they plan to build on the work that has already been done, as well as having a vision for the event.

"We want and need athletes to sign up for this race, next year and beyond, and to make the race a success," he said. "As part of that, we are really promoting this community, and the town, the location, this venue for training and racing, as being a major attraction to the event itself. Our main goal is to have people think Penticton again."

The city will continue to provide support, such as road closures, on the triathlon day, according to Litke.



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