FONTANA — Village leaders are showing strong support for a plan to bring triathlon sports back to Fontana.
The Fontana Village Board on March 5 was scheduled to consider approval of a contract with a promoter seeking to introduce a new triathlon in the fall of 2019.
The first triathlon would take place Sept. 21.
Village President Pat Kenny said that he sensed support among village board members for the new triathlon.
“Overall everyone was very happy with it,” Kenny said.
A company called Peak Performance Professionals of Brookfield was seeking the village’s endorsement to move forward with the Sept. 21 event.
“We are excited about it,” Kenny said. “We are very excited.”
Fontana hosted a yearly triathlon for about 20 years until a dispute over costs prompted the organizers in 2011 to move the event to Williams Bay.
The Williams Bay triathlon continued until 2018 when the event organizer Premier Event Management ran into financial troubles and canceled.
Officials say that Peak Performance Professionals is a new organizer planning a new event.
Fontana Village Attorney Dale Thorpe was working out details of a contract with the new company for consideration at the March 5 village board meeting.
Thorpe said he worked through some problems with the proposed contract, and he planned to have a draft ready for village board review.
Village Trustee Arvid “Pete” Petersen said the triathlon will be a boon for the village.
What Peterson likes, he said, is that the triathlon sponsor plans on putting $10,000 up front to help defray any costs to the village. He said that is different from past triathlon organizers.
“In the past, the organizer would leave us with a big bill,” he said.
Petersen said a triathlon typically starts early in the morning and ends early in the afternoon, giving participants and spectators plenty of time to visit local businesses.
“I’m good with it,” he said of the new event. “I think a triathlon is good for us.”
Trustee Rick Pappas said he participated in Fontana triathlons as a competitor in the early 2000s.
“It was popular and everyone loved it,” Pappas said. “It’s kind of a neat event in the fall.”
But past organizers did not compensate the village for all of its costs, which created friction.
The new group is promising money up front and also promising to pay for all expenses the village incurs hosting the event, Pappas said.
“I’m happy to have it back,” he said.
Kenny, who has run triathlons in the past, too, said he plans on running in this one.
“I better start working out,” he added.
Organizers have proposed limiting the number of triathlon participants to 1,000 or fewer for the first year to see how things work out.