IRONMAN World Championship Expected to Create $35M Total Economic Impact

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More than 15,000 athletes, family, friends, volunteers, partners, and staff are expected in Greater Zion for the first full-distance IRONMAN World Championship event in over two years, and the very first outside of the state of Hawai`i

ST. GEORGE, Utah / TAMPA, Fla. (May 5, 2022) — Following the postponed IRONMAN World Championship events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2022 in St. George, Utah, United States. This marks a historic transition for The IRONMAN Group, as St. George will become the first location to host the IRONMAN World Championship event outside of the state of Hawai`i since its origins in 1978. As the most iconic single-day endurance event in the world, athletes from around the globe will have the opportunity to enjoy a week full of festivities and celebratory events before racing among the world’s best and vying for a World Championship title at a one-of-a-kind course in the Land of Endurance and State of Sport.

ST GEORGE, UTAH – MAY 07: Women's champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland and men's champion Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway celebrate after winning the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships on May 07, 2022 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Athletes, their family, and friends, will also be able to enjoy all that the local community and Greater Zion region has to offer during their stay. Greater Zion’s breathtaking scenery and views of the surrounding red rock canyons have made the region an ideal destination for athletes for years. With a million-year geologic history and a desert location at the edge of the Pine Valley Mountains and Zion National Park, St. George is the poster child of the American Southwest. With more than 65 miles of urban trails and easy-to-navigate size, St. George is as welcoming and warm as it is striking and seductive. St. George has that unique blend of small-town feel with big-city energy and amenities – nestled in the heart of all the adventure and scenery you can possibly imagine.

“We are thrilled to have athletes, families, friends, fans, volunteers, partners, and staff members joining us to celebrate the return of our IRONMAN World Championship within St. George’s striking landscape,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “It is an honor to partner with the Utah Sports Commission to help showcase why Utah is the State of Sport and Greater Zion is the Land of Endurance. We are grateful to their teams for their collaboration and long-term partnership to bring back world championship racing for our athletes all over the world after a two-year hiatus. We have full confidence that athletes and their families will enjoy the stunning geological scenery and local community support, along with the national parks and local businesses, and anticipate that many will return well after race week is over.”

Taking in all the sights and the sounds, those in town for the event are projected to generate a total economic impact of more than $35M for the host city and Greater Zion region. Historically, IRONMAN World Championship events are attended by more than 15,000 participating athletes, their family, supporters, and fans of the sport, who book their stays for a minimum of six nights. During those stays, athletes have demonstrated to seek premium accommodations and a range of activities to occupy themselves and their families prior to the event and after race day, increasing the overall economic impact within the region.

“It is an honor to host such a prestigious event in a place that personifies the greatest attributes in human effort and success. This is a land of inspiration and endurance,” said Kevin Lewis, Director of Tourism for The Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office. “Our communities resonate with optimism, and enthusiasm, our heritage is filled with determination and strength, and we’re thrilled to share those qualities with the world. Events like the IRONMAN World Championship strengthen our economic foundation and ensure the long-term viability of our communities. At a time when there are so many negative influences in the world we are thrilled to move forward with optimism and purpose.”

Since 2010, St. George has hosted 12 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events and over 30,000 athletes from around the world throughout its beautiful and scenic Southwestern regions, including Hurricane, Washington City, Santa Clara, and Ivins. The areas captivating red rock canyons, inclusive of Snow Canyon State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, and Zion National Park, create an ideal backdrop for IRONMAN athletes and visitors alike who enjoy striking views and adventurous destination. Heading downtown, fans and athletes will enjoy coffee shops, restaurants, and other boutique local shopping opportunities that deliver support for athletes, their family, and friends.

“We are extremely excited to welcome the world to Utah to host the iconic IRONMAN World Championship,” said Jeff Robbins, President and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “The event will generate tremendous economic impact and provide significant media exposure showcasing Utah to a global audience.”

Since 2002, the Utah Sports Commission has partnered on or provided funding to over 900 sporting events throughout the state with a calendar filled throughout the year for amateur, professional, and Olympic-related events. Utah has attracted some of the world’s largest and most prestigious events, particularly in endurance and action sports, inclusive of Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert, Red Bull Rampage, Monster Energy Supercross, as well as past IRONMAN Group events. Additionally, the Utah Sports Commission has also partnered on and hosted numerous Olympic World Championships, World Cups and hundreds of Olympic related events over the last 20-plus years. To date these efforts have generated approximately $2.8 billion of economic impact to the state and the current projection is to hit $3 billion with the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMN World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission, 2022 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission, the 2023 Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Salt Lake City event and 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Along with the economic impact hundreds of millions in media value have been driven to the state, helping to brand Utah as The State of Sport.

At the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission, both the female and male professional triathlons will have live race-day coverage globally via IRONMAN Now available on Facebook Watch as well as on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. The live coverage will offer millions of fans around the world digital access to the event activities, with the ability to follow along and support their favorite athletes in action, while witnessing the breathtaking views of Southwestern Utah, USA via computers and mobile devices.

For more information about the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission event, please visit www.ironman.com/im-word-championship-2021.

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