Visitors Bureau Builds Tourism for Yakima Valley

As summer winds down and fall approaches, we want to share recent successes of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau in our efforts to build tourism for Yakima and the Yakima Valley.

August was a hugely successful month for media coverage resulting from our efforts! Notable coverage included articles in Lonely Planet online, Portland Magazine’s fall story, Seattle Time’s Pacific Northwest Magazine, Crave, 425 Magazine and others. In total the exposure generated $52,000 in advertising value and reached 20.5 million readers.

The Sports Commission finished the annual Hot Shots 3 on 3 Tourney in Downtown Yakima. We had a tourney record of 497 teams, an increase of 8.5% from 2012 and the sixth straight year the team numbers have grown. An estimated 12,000 people were downtown for the event.

Now the Sports Commission turns to fall events. September 13 and 14th we host the SunDome Volleyball Festival with more than 80 teams and close to 1,000 players from all over Washington and Oregon.

Following that we stage the Pirate Plunder Adventure Race October 5th. To date we have more than 860 registered (last year there were 878 total racers). This year we are partnering with the Allied Art’s Fresh Hop Ale Festival happening that day to make Yakima a weekend destination.

Pirate Plunder Adventure Race a Muddy Success

They came, they saw and they plundered…the mud that is.

More than 870 contestants (many dressed in Pirate garb) participated in the first Pirate Plunder Adventure Race in Yakima yesterday.  Contestants slogged through 4 miles of dirt, water, sand and mud while battling 17 obstacles.  Check out this on-the-course video done by a member of the local Cross Fit team.

In addition, Pirates greeted, encouraged and taunted the contestants as they made their way through the course. With a lively party atmosphere that included live music, beverages and food, participants and their families enjoyed the mild fall weather.

And while fun and adventure were the main motives, it’s hoped that the race will become a magnet for adventure racers from across the U.S. Preliminary data showed that nearly 15% of the contestants came from beyond the Yakima Valley, including Montana , Idaho, Oregon and Western Washington State. Those participants boosted the local economy in a muddy way!

Here’s a few local media stories about the adventure:

Yakima Herald story, plus video and pictures.  Yakima Herald Editorial

KIMA news piece    KNDO story on weekend events

The event was organized and staged by the Yakima Valley Sports Commission and Whiplash Sports, with presenting sponsor Steve Hahn Volkswagen~Audi~Kia and with the help of many other sponsors and volunteers. For more details on the event visit and be sure to like the Pirate Plunder Race Facebook page.

See you next year mateys!

Pirate Plunder Adventure Race

All ye landlubbers and scallywags! Come to the Yakima Valley October 7th for an adventure of a lifetime…or be prepared to walk the plank!

The Yakima Valley Sports Commission with it’s partner Whiplash Sports have created the Pirate Plunder Adventure Race which is a 4+ mile obstacle course race that combines ever-changing terrain with 15+ obstacles to test your strength, stamina, and love of mud. You’ll climb over walls up to 12’ high, crawl through a 40’ long mud pit, slide down a 30’ water slide, battle through tires, and face many other challenges all while running through a combination of fields, mud, and sand pits!

Once completed, participants are greeted with a cold beverage, live music, and great food! This race is a great way to get you, your friends, and family away from the TV, off the couch, and covered in mud, so come on out and see if you’re worthy of the name “Pirate” or are you just another “Scallywag”.

Volunteers are needed to come dressed and act the role of pirates at various stations of the race to add to the experience. There are also other opportunities to volunteer.

To register or volunteer go to