Before the awards were handed out there was a short bus tour of two of Huron County’s busiest tourist destinations, the Seaforth Golf course and of course Walton Raceway. Unfortunately the weather was not a big fan of HTA as it was pouring rain, this left us unable to give everyone a full tour of Walton Raceway and we were confined to the Honda Pavilion for a video and a chat. Despite the elements outside, everyone inside were still able to get a good perspective of what exactly Walton Raceway and the Walton TransCan tries to accomplish each year. I for one found it very interesting to hear the economic impact the Walton TransCan has on the local area. Considering it is the biggest annual draw in Huron, a lot of the other local tourism business’s were eager to find ways to work with the TransCan to help their own business’s
After the visit to the Walton Raceway we all hopped back on the bus and made our way back to Seaforth Arena for an incredible lunch and the awards presentation. First up was some speeches and a lot of thank yous to everyone that help make the day happen. Then the final big award of the day was given out, the name of this annual award was the Huron Tourism Development Award, and it is given out to the business that best exemplifies what Tourism means to the Huron area. When Walton Raceway was announced as the 2011 winner, the people in attendance were extremely happy with who was named the winner, in fact many people came up to Chris after and said simply “Congratulations, its about time.”
It really was a special award and a special time for the Lee Family and Walton Raceway. Seeing as this is the 20th Anniversary of the Walton TransCan, the event has gone from a small motocross race to a driving force in a county’s tourism economy. The TransCan has not only put Walton, Ontario on the map, but has brought people from all over the world to Ontario’s West Coast. This is what tourism is all about. Before the banquet was over I had a chance to speak with a few people about the TransCan, I was very impressed to hear everyone’s eagerness and admiration for the Walton TransCan event.
This event has become so much more than a motocross race, it has become a destination. Although the award was something really special, listening to how the entire County was so excited about the event every year, really solidified just how important the Walton TransCan has become. As I said before, sometimes a day can turn into something very interesting.