Results are in. CARHA exceeds projected economic impactThursday, September 13, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
SAULT STE. MARIE
CARHA Hockey World Cup exceeds expectations with $13.3M impact
SAULT STE. MARIE - The data is in. And the results are better than expected.
The 2012 Canadian Adult Recreation Hockey Association World Cup generated about $13.3 million is economic activity.
That was the final tally revealed in a recently-released report from the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA).
Taking place every four years, the week-long event - considered one of the largest hockey tournaments in the world - was held in Sault Ste. Marie last March.
It involved more than 2,300 visitors from around the world.
Athletes, along with their families and friends, were attracted here for not only hockey, but also for area attractions and tours, with event packages including the Agawa Canyon Snow Train and cultural stops like the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
“Even though we’re a relatively small community, we have unique tourism offerings, which bolstered the 2012 World Cup and helped attract people from all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe,” said Ian McMillan, executive director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corp. “Our attractions, coupled with packed restaurants and hotels, spread the visitors throughout the community, thereby maximizing their spending.”
In its financial evaluation of events, the CSTA uses the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model.
STEAM is a comprehensive, industry-accepted model that takes into account visitor spending, along with the indirect fiscal activity generated by it.
In the case of the 2012 CARHA Hockey World Cup, when all was said and done, the economic impact was calculated at more than $13 million.
Original predictions estimated the event would generate up to $10 million.
Due to the significant economic impact, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, in partnership with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, bid on the event several years back.
While past World Cups were held in major centres like Toronto and Vancouver, CARHA eventually awarded the 2012 tournament to the Sault, a place they dubbed “The little city with a big heart.”
After earning the hosting rights, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and City staff then went on to help coordinate the event with a local organizing committee.
“This was a total, community-wide team effort,” said Nick Apostle, commissioner of the City’s Community Services Department. “Everyone - from all levels of government to the private sector - came together and made the CARHA World Cup nothing short of a complete success. We knew the event would be huge for the community, but we now know it was bigger than we first thought.”
The 2012 CARHA World Cup was made possible thanks to investments from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., FedNor - Industry Canada, and the local hospitality sector.
Having state-of-the-art facilities like the Essar Centre - used for games, along with the opening ceremonies and closing banquet - also played a key role in the event coming here.
“Everyone came together on this one, and the results speak for themselves,” said McMillan, whose Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division was also involved with successful bids on the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, 2011 Hap Ki Do Canadian Open and 2013 Telus Cup.
“The success of the CARHA World Cup shows that major events are worth investing in. The return on investment is significant. And with continued support, we’ll be able to go after more large-scale events in the future.”