Vancouver, Wash. – The 68th annual men's and 44th women's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Cross Country Championship races descended upon Vancouver, Washington, on November 17, 2023. Showcasing its picturesque rolling terrain and a course known for its European-style layout with varying elevations, the event returned to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site for the eighth time, drawing attention to the city's commitment to hosting top-tier athletic competitions.
With 664 athletes representing colleges nationwide, the championships served as a gathering point for cross-country enthusiasts, contributing significantly to the local economy. Athletes and attendees stayed an average of 4.25 nights, filling local accommodations and actively engaging with the area's businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
Key Economic Impact Figures for the 2023 Event:
- Estimated overall economic impact surged to over $1.59 million
- Total room nights booked reached 1,604
- 72 men's and women's teams participated, representing 116 institutions
"The NAIA Cross Country Championships stand as a testament to the combined efforts of our city's accommodations and services in hosting a successful sporting event," said Tanya Minor, Director of Sales at Visit Vancouver WA. "It underscores the capability of our local businesses to elevate the experience for both athletes and visitors. Beyond the positive impact on hotel bookings, this event significantly boosts our restaurants, shops, and the overall local economy. We're enthusiastic about the continued partnership and the prospects it holds for Vancouver's prominence as a premier sporting destination."
The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), with member schools in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, is set to host the championships again in 2026 and 2029 in partnership with the city of Vancouver.
"We are so appreciative of our relationship with Visit Vancouver WA and the historic Fort Vancouver," stated CCC commissioner Robert Cashell. "The 2023 championship was certainly one of the best of the eight we have hosted."
The women's team from the College of Idaho and the men's team from Milligan University won the 2023 National Titles. For more comprehensive race recaps and results, visit the CCC website for men's and women's cross country.
About Visit Vancouver WA
Visit Vancouver WA is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Vancouver and the surrounding Clark County, Washington. The nonprofit competitively markets the region as a place to visit for leisure, a venue for sports events, and a destination for meetings, conventions, and group travel. The organization’s primary mission is to increase visitor spending in the area to support and encourage economic growth and vitality to Vancouver, Washington’s valued local community. For more information call 360-750-1553 or visit www.VisitVancouverWA.com.