Tacoma, Wash. (Feb. 5, 2021) – Charity Choice Invitational gymnastics competition will be the first major event at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center (GTCC) since the beginning of COVID restrictions in March 2020, bringing in over 3,000 people to Tacoma and the region next Friday, Feb. 12 through Monday, Feb. 15. The event will strictly comply with all pandemic protocols as recommended by the Tacoma Pierce County Regional Health Department and Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan. In planning for more than a year, the competition is able to proceed with Pierce County’s move to Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan.
The four-day competition has been designed with capacity limits and safety and sanitation regulations to maintain adherence with the latest governmental guidance, as well as industry best practices. The GTCC has been at the forefront of developing guidelines and standards for meetings and events venues to reopen safely, including achieving Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR Certification, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. The GTCC Greater Way Forward sanitation and safety protocol is in large part responsible for the Charity Choice Invitational being able to proceed in Tacoma.
“I’m pleased that we are able to make arrangements to hold this event in Tacoma again this year, in a safe and controlled environment like the Greater Tacoma Convention Center,” said Sandy Flores, Meet Director of Charity Choice Invitational. “These gymnasts put so much effort and dedication into staying strong and healthy year-round for these competitions, and the measures we’ve put in place for this year’s Charity Choice should help them stay strong and healthy.”
Each day of the competition, approximately 830 athletes, limited spectators, coaches and officials who wouldn’t otherwise be in Tacoma will be dining at local restaurants and ordering food to go, shopping at local stores and supporting the local economy. The competition will consist of four events scheduled throughout each day, enabling GTCC staff and event producers to maintain stringent capacity limits, monitor physical distancing and implement strict sanitation standards. There will not be an opportunity for the public to attend the event.
With participants representing ten states and more than half coming from outside of Pierce County, the event is also a boon for downtown Tacoma hotels. Travel Tacoma expects the event to generate between 1,300 and 4,000 room nights, which will result in direct economic impact to Pierce County at anywhere from $650,000 to $1.7 million.
“This announcement is exciting for what it is, and for what it means,” said Dean Burke, President and CEO of Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports. “It’s an event with a real, tangible economic impact, and we like that. But, even bigger than that, it means people on the streets, and an energy at the convention center and in downtown Tacoma that we haven’t felt in a long time. It’s the first real step forward we’ve seen in almost a year. It will take a little patience and practice, and it certainly doesn’t mean things are ‘normal’ yet. Not even close. But this is a lot closer than we’ve seen in a long time.”
Charity Choice will be the first major event to showcase GTCC’s new rigorous protocols and comprehensive sanitation technologies, which will be in place for all future events at the Convention Center. A list of the measures is linked here.  
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Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports
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About Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports
Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports is the official destination marketing organization for Tacoma and Pierce County, Washington. Accredited by Destinations International. For more information, visit www.traveltacoma.com.