Tickets were in high demand at this year’s BikeFest, which VARDA Executive Director Curtis Pawliuk estimates brought over 250 people to Valemount. /SUPPLIED

By Abigail Popple

Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) hosted its biannual BikeFest in Valemount last week. Events included a Sunday morning pancake breakfast to raise money for VARDA, a beer sale at District Bicycle Co., plus all-day shuttling around the Valemount Bike Park.

The festival has been growing even more popular in recent years, said VARDA Executive Director Curtis Pawliuk.

“We had 250 people register, and tickets sold out in a matter of days,” Pawliuk told The Goat. “The reason we sell tickets in advance now is that we’ve had too many people come to BikeFest at the same time. The demand for BikeFest tickets is ridiculous, it kind of felt like a Taylor Swift concert with tickets selling very quickly online.”

Pawliuk estimates that the event brought in well over 250 people to the village, since festival attendees also brought family members along with them.

“It’s difficult to put a price on that, but I think the economic spinoff is hard to miss,” he said. “And it was really cool to have it at the same time as the Rocky Mountain Racing Association, like the village got double the benefit.”

VARDA will have another BikeFest in the fall, Pawliuk said. He encourages anyone who wasn’t able to attend this weekend to keep their eyes peeled for the fall festival ticket sale – members of the Valemount Bike Park get access to tickets four days earlier than non-members.

BikeFest included all-day shuttle service in Valemount’s bike park. /SUPPLIED