Imagine a place where you can train for cycling events – and have your wine too. Starting in spring 2014, the Naramata Heritage Inn has a program for you!
Last March, new owners Julius and Toni Bloomfield set a goal to keep their inn open year round. And they are doing just that by teaming up with local fitness professionals Ian Lobb and Louise and Andre Blais to host “cycling performance camps.”
After experiencing the excitement, energy and business generated by the Granfondo – the Bloomfields knew they were on course. “We’ve done our research and we know this is a strong market. The Okanagan is a cycling destination,” says Julius. “Plus, we have an excellent climate for training in the spring.”
The camps will give cyclists, especially those preparing for Granfondo or Challenge Penticton, an opportunity to stay in the area, train and get familiar with the region. Toni, a marathon runner, and Julius, a two-time Ironman participant, are sports enthusiasts. “We’ve trained on the Naramata Bench and we know this is a great location,” says Toni. “A lot of cyclists already stay at the Inn – so these camps are a no-brainer.”
Everything’s included: accommodation, meals and training, as well as educational seminars on nutrition and injury prevention – and possibly a wine tour or two. “It’s all about cycling, but we also know this group enjoys a glass of wine and great food,” says Julius. “The sky is the limit. We’ll tailor the camps for different groups,” adds Louise, who along with Andre and Ian has an extensive background in competitive races and fitness instruction.
The camps will run from Easter weekend to mid-June. “You have to give people a reason to come here; you can’t just open the door and expect them to come,” says Julius. “And it’s a way for us to fill the rooms, use this facility, and keep our staff working,” adds Toni. The inn will also partner with local businesses to offer the cyclists’ spouses and families’ fun activities.
“I can’t wait for the camp camaraderie that’s going to develop. The energetic vibe will be awesome,” says Louise with an enthusiastic grin. Tour de Naramata anyone?
~ Erin Trainer