County of Wetaskiwin council heard a pre-season report from one of the largest motorsports organizations in Alberta at the Apr. 23 meeting: Edmonton International Raceway.
Located on the north side of Wetaskiwin along town Rd 464, EIR had an interesting 2018 season stated representative and co-owner Loretta Thiering at the council meeting.
Thiering said the 2018 season was decent but bad weather played a factor, especially snow showing up in September. “It’s just how it goes sometimes,” said Thiering.
She said the organization is always looking to find more fans and sponsors and recently introduced a new business plan based on $5 admission, with kids 3 years and under getting in free. A few special events will have higher admission because those events include higher costs.
Thiering said EIR isn’t allowed to do 50/50 draws but can allow non-profit partners to come in and operate those activities, while EIR also has its own giveaway events too.
EIR also has new test drive cars that are NASCAR-level technology, and EIR’s track meets all NASCAR-level requirements.
Thiering said EIR is also working with Travel Alberta for event promotion this year. “Travel Alberta has been extraordinarily good to us,” said Thiering.
She said there is an event returning to EIR that she thinks fans are going to love: Hit to Pass is scheduled for the Aug. 31 weekend. In this event, you cannot pass another vehicle on the track unless you hit them first. The event will also feature prize money for participants.
The Luxxur 300 NASCAR event will be returning to EIR, after the 2018 event was a hit she stated. Thiering said it’s a big event to host, but it features actual NASCAR vehicles, so fans flock to it. CTV is sponsoring the event this year.
Last summer EIR hosted a number of events leading up to the Luxxur 300, including a barbecue in conjunction with the City of Wetaskiwin. Thiering said the barbecue will return to Jubilee Park this summer, hopefully with several of the NASCAR vehicles and drivers.
EIR’s events have the potential to attract up to 100,000 people to the Wetaskiwin region, stated Thiering, and the Wetaskiwin business community is embracing the track. “Our partnerships in town have improved very, very well,” said Thiering.
Ongoing projects include a sound barrier for the southeast corner of the EIR property. Thiering said virtually all of the track’s neighbours are very understanding of the noise from the track, and EIR offers free tickets to all their neighbours.
Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers said it’s pleasing to see so much community involvement in EIR’s plans and to see an operation that has a real effect economically on the community.
Councilors accepted the report for information.