A Sicamous Chamber of Commerce survey found a community deeply divided over whether the Summer Stomp and Burnout is a boon or a bust.
The survey, which was put out soon after the 2015 event, noted a very slight majority of businesses, at 51. 6 per cent of the survey respondents, saying the Stomp does nothing for their business or actually hinders it.
On the flip side, however, a number of businesses, including restaurants, motels, liquor outlets and pubs, report it was the busiest weekend of the year, including restaurants, motels, liquor and beer sales and pubs.
“Many respondents stated they believe the Stomp could be or already is a wonderful way to highlight Sicamous as a fun destination,” says the report. “The Summer Stomp and Burnout has the potential to be a much-loved economic driver in Sicamous in the coming years.”
The survey noted the event was enjoyed more by out-of-town visitors rather than local people, some of whom claimed to have left town or merely tolerated the event. The survey also noted a large segment of local people who didn’t feel strongly about it either way.
“Though they could see the economic benefit potential, they felt it was poorly planned and organized and many didn’t take part themselves,” says the survey’s report.
Respondents pointed to a number of areas where they felt improvements could be made including: more and better advertising, providing more information for businesses to give out to customers, sticking to the planned schedule and including more of the local community and businesses.
As well, suggestions were made to enhance a more family atmosphere, including assign more family-friendly events to the downtown core, including music, children’s games and vendors.
Another idea was to create a two-day event in Sicamous’ downtown to make it more “worth it” for participants, vendors and businesses to get involved.
The Summer Stomp has responded to the survey on Facebook, where they offer a survey of their own. They ask for input on several points raised in the results, including how advertising could be more effective, how the family event could be more family friendly, on how to be more inclusive with the community and local businesses and more.
“Please, tell your friends, to tell their friends, and let’s hear from you Sicamous,” asks the Stomp. “Help us help you, and we can all benefit from a great event.”