03/17/2015 09:54 EDT | Updated 05/17/2015 05:12 EDT

Smithers ski hill hosts national event after abrupt venue change

The sudden relocation of the Canadian National Ski Cross Championships from a Prince George ski resort to one in Smithers had the small town scrambling for a week as it prepared for an influx of athletes and visitors.

The championships kicked off in Hudson Bay Mountain Tuesday. It is the first time the Smithers' venue has hosted a national-calibre competition.

The event was supposed to take place in Tabor Mountain Ski Resort in Prince George, but lack of snow forced organizers to move it.

"Early last week..[Hudson Bay Mountain] got notice that they were selected as the place to host it, and that was because we were on this snow belt as it is," said Smithers Chamber of Commerce manager Heather Gallagher in an interview with Daybreak North.

"We are getting a little notorious for that."

Gallagher says many people in the community want to show off to visitors the best of Smithers, so business owners have helped put together swag bags filled with local produce, baked goods and fishing flies.

The Canadian National Ski Cross Championships take place from Mar. 17 to 19.

To hear the full interview with Heather Gallagher, click on the audio labelled: Smithers welcomes Canadian National Ski Cross Championships