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May 8, 2014 (ISN) – The 2014 BC Winter Games had a direct economic impact of $1.6 million to the local host region of Mission and surrounding Fraser Valley municipalities such as Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows.

The study, commissioned by the BC Games Society, measured spending by Games organizers, participants, spectators, and volunteers.  

“This study reinforces what host communities have long known—that the BC Games result in positive economic and social benefits, including direct economic impact,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “The study bears out that in addition to the huge benefits the BC Games bring to developing high performance athletes, they also bring significant benefits for communities. The BC Games are a win for everyone.”

Participants, spectators, and volunteers accounted for $851,300 of spending while Games organizers spent $731,900.  As the BC Winter Games are a unique one-time opportunity for athletes, the majority of spectator spending comes from parents attending the Games in support of their children, booking hotel nights and visiting restaurants.  

“The 2014 BC Winter Games were a major success and I want to congratulate Mission for doing an excellent job as host community,” said MLA Simon Gibson. “The BC Games bring in athletes, family members, fans, volunteers, coaches, and officials which translates to major support for local businesses and families.”

“The BC Games represent an incredible opportunity for host communities, as Mission so effectively demonstrated in February,” said MLA Marc Dalton. “Not only do the BC Games provide an important developmental experience for athletes, coaches, and officials, but they give host communities a chance to shine, as Mission did, and enjoy well-deserved economic benefits.”

Statistics from the report include:
•    More than 68% of the athletes surveyed had friends or relatives attending as spectators
•    71% of spectators interviewed were from outside the Mission/Fraser Valley area
•    85% of non-local spectators were in the area specifically for the Games and 59% were staying for three to four days
•    94% of spectators spent money on goods or services while at the Games with accommodation accounting for 28% of total spending and restaurant meals accounting for 20% of spending
•    $143,180 was generated in provincial taxes

The economic impact study was conducted by the Economic Planning Group of Canada who has expertise in the field as the author of several previous studies at the BC Games.
The full report can be viewed at http://www.bcgames.org/Games/StatsandFacts/EconomicImpact.aspx.

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