The Washington State Special Olympics Winter Games are coming back to the Wenatchee Valley, and the city of East Wenatchee is offering financial support. 

The city council this week approved a monetary donation of $10,000 to the group that stages the event. 

East Wenatchee Events Director Trina Elmes says the Special Olympics are a boon for the local economy. 

“They have over 2,500 people that come and attend,” said Elmes. “And they fill all of our gyms, all of our hotels. We’re booked.” 

 The Special Olympics Winter Games draws more than 1500 athletes along with 300 coach-chaperones and over 600 volunteers throughout the 3-day event.  

Several thousand people attend the games, which provides a big boost to area hotels, restaurants and retail stores. 

Some city councilors spoke out during Tuesday’s council meeting, saying the organizers deserve a bigger contribution from the city than $10,000, given the economic impact the games bring. 

Elmes says the organizers will likely ask for more money in the future. 

“We talked to her at our last meeting,” Elmes said. “We’ve, I think, all kind of agreed that we should be giving them more. And so next year they’re going to ask for more.” 

The games take place on the first weekend in March. They're organized by the nonprofit Wenatchee Valley Sports Foundation. 

The Winter Games consists of competition in cross country skiing, alpine skiing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, figure skating, speed skating and basketball for athletes with developmental disabilities.

The games are an annual event that has been in the valley for 32 years but was canceled for several years due to the pandemic. 

The event returned in 2023 with much fanfare. 

10 Winter Essentials for Visiting Parks in Washington

Winter can be challenging for park visitors. Don't get caught un-prepared. If you're planning to hike or recreate away from roads, you'll need a few items to navigate the challenges of winter weather. Bring these items in your backpack. You'll be glad you did.

Gallery Credit: Patti Banner

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ