I am writing to express my displeasure with the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR) and the way Pinedale hosts this so called “great event” for our town. I moved to Pinedale many years ago and this event was excellent. The IPSSSDR teams would leave from town and race through Cora, allowing many opportunities for residents to view the race. The children were given a short break from school to view and cheer on the racers. Residents would take time off work and gather in town to watch the race and frequent our shops and restaurants. Pinedale also put on a fun-filled event the night before. Now, it seems this event has turned into a burden for the town, as the “Pinedale Stage Stop” isn’t even in Pinedale anymore.
Residents are expected to drop everything in the middle of the week and drive out of town to the Green River Lakes parking lot to view only the start of the race. Then wait in the cold for the racers to return to the exact same spot for the finish. The “Meet the Mushers” event has turned into a potluck dinner. Local sponsors and hotels are asked to donate and give huge discounts to the participants of this event and receive nothing in return. I understand this event raises money for our local shelters, but couldn’t it be much more?
Does this event bring spectators from out of town to Pinedale to spend their money to benefit its residents? Does this event allow its residents the opportunity to view the race like they do in Jackson? Does this event allow our children to enjoy the race from many different viewpoints close to their homes or local businesses where they can warm up? Does this event benefit local restaurants and shops?
I feel as though this event is no longer a benefit to our town but rather a burden, where race organizers hustle local businesses into offering either sponsor money or huge discounts. Meanwhile, our residents do not receive any benefits other than being a so-called Pedigree Stage Stop … Whoopee! I wonder what Gayle Kinnison would think of this event nowadays.
The solution, redo the race format to include either the start or finish of the race in our town and allow all Pinedale students time off to view the race. Put together a meet the mushers event that doesn’t require people to bring their own beans and offers local businesses the opportunity to participate to help them make money instead of costing them. Come on Pinedale, you’re better than this. Put on an event that Pinedale residents and businesses can support, look forward to and be proud to call its own.
For the complete article see the 02-14-2014 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-14-2014 paper.