Despite efforts to present a revamped edition next February, the organizing committee of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt had to admit defeat in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing the cancellation of the event on Wednesday.
Having worked closely with Public Health and law enforcement over the past few months, the organizers were still hopeful until recently. To reduce costs, they had among other things done away with the expensive ice rink and snowmobile events.
But sadly, daily COVID-19 case tolls do not appear to be declining, and government guidelines announced Tuesday – making telework mandatory except for essential services until January 11 – have been the final nail in the coffin .
“The very rapid evolution of government measures forces us to cancel,” said Director General Véronique Lizotte Wednesday, while specifying that Public Health had never prohibited the holding of the event. On our own, we decided to cancel, because the risks were too high. ”
“We had already made a lot of decisions. What was announced [par le gouvernement mardi] confirmed our decision. We couldn’t afford to start the preparations. The production of snow and ice was supposed to start on January 4th. With the general confinement, we had a week of amputee for the preparation, with a very high risk of financial losses. “
Not in danger
This announcement will thus make it possible to slash the preparation budget and to start the organization of the 40th anniversary more quickly in February 2022.
“We hope to have a grandiose format! exclaimed Ms. Lizotte. It’s going to be the 40th. We have 16 months to organize the event. We want to have more developed programming. Several ideas are already on the table. ”
In addition, if some business partners have temporarily withdrawn, she believes they will all be back next year. Indeed, the motorized recreational vehicle sector is in an excellent position in the current context.
“Most of the partners are still with us,” she said. We lost some American partners, but we expect them to be back in the future. It is a question of resource management. We are fortunate to be in a sector that is doing very well in Quebec. ”
If the future of the Grand Prix is not in danger, Ms. Lizotte is however saddened by the losses for the region. Indeed, a market study carried out in 2018 estimated the economic impact at $ 6.5 million in the region.