Team B.C. third Marika Van Osch watches as teammates Amy Gibson (left) and Kaili Van Osch (right) guide the stone down the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre during their final game in the round-robin on Wednesday night.

Team B.C. third Marika Van Osch watches as teammates Amy Gibson (left) and Kaili Van Osch (right) guide the stone down the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre during their final game in the round-robin on Wednesday night.

Scotties Tournament of Hearts has $3.8 million impact

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts was the biggest curling event Penticton has ever hosted and, according to a new report, it was a major economic bonus throughout the city.

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts was the biggest curling event Penticton has ever hosted and, according to a new report, it was a major economic bonus throughout the city.

According to a report presented to Penticton city council Tuesday, Scotties generated $3,845,018 in visitor spending. About 70 per cent of that went to accommodations and restaurants, the remaining 30 per cent went to shopping, groceries, recreation and more.

Each party visiting the city for the Scotties invested about $1,408 during their stay in Penticton, according to the report delivered by recreation and facilities manager Bregje Kozak.

They average stay, according to Kozak, was 5.4 days, with most responding that they would return to Penticton.

Thom Tischik, executive director for Travel Penticton, noted another indicator of economic success; that the amount of additional hotel room tax collected in January 2018 was $18,000, up $7,000 over the previous January

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canada’s national women’s curling championship, was held at the South Okanagan Events Centre between Jan. 27 and Feb. 4. Teams from across Canada competed, drawing fans from across Canada as well.

The all Manitoba final, in front of a large crowd, was ultimately won by the Jennifer Jones rink over the wildcard team skipped by Kerri Einarson.

Event organizer spent another $1.2 million on goods and services locally to put on the large event. But hosting the event had an effect on not just the local economy, but also regionally, provincially and nationally.

“The combined spending of out-of-town participants, delegates, family members, spectators and other people who visited Penticton for the event, in combination with the expenditures made by the organizers of the event, totaled $5 million, supporting $8 million of economic activity in British Columbia, including $6.7 million of economic activity in Penticton,” according to Kozak’s report. “These expenditures supported $2.8 million in wages and salaries in the province through the support of 50 jobs, of which 43 jobs and $2.3 million in wages and salaries were supported in Penticton.”

This was a successful event for the city, Kozak said, especially since it was held January and February, generally a quiet time in the city.

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Steve Kidd

Senior reporter, Penticton Western News

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