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Provincial swim meet sees more than $135,000 in spending for local economy

TRURO – The recent Nova Scotia Senior Open Swim Meet brought in more than $137,000 in spending in Truro and Colchester.

Members of the Truro Centurions cheer on a fellow swimmer during the Nova Scotia Senior Open Swim Meet held in Truro in December. The three-day event saw more than $137,000 spent within the local community by spectators, participants and event organizers. 

The three-day event, held Dec. 12 to 14 at the Wilsons Aquatic Centre at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC), saw 314 competitors from across the province, and local spending by spectators and participants, along with expenditures of the event organizers, resulted in an economic impact for the area.

“We’re heartened to see results from the RECC’s first economic impact study,” said Town of Truro Mayor Bill Mills in a news release. “It was important to measure the impact of an event held at the RECC in order to gauge what impact the facility was having on the overall community. While this was a smaller event, in terms of the RECC’s potential, it provides a good baseline for measurement and will help us assess the potential for future events. If we are able to multiply this by 10 events, then we are looking at a rather significant infusion of money into our community.”

The town joined forces with the Municipality of Colchester County and student volunteers from Cobequid Educational Centre to conduct the on-site research and report. Information about the participants, spectators, and their spending was captured through an on-site survey, which collected detailed information on local expenditures. This information was then used to generate the aggregate spending during the event, which provided a level of economic impact felt in Truro and Colchester.

Highlights from the report include:

·        A total of 405 commercial room nights were sold in the Truro area over the three-day event.

·        The average out of town travel party spent $465.50 over their stay in the Truro area, which translates to approximately $64 per person, per day.

·        Total combined aggregate spending of the visitors to the event, plus operational expenditures, totalled $137,168.

“All those involved with various events at the RECC are aware that activities at the facility are a driver for community economic benefits,” said Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor. “It is encouraging to see real figures showing the positive impact on the community. Any event, be it a sporting competition, a swim meet or an entertainment event, is an economic benefit for the community and the RECC is the venue that makes it happen. I am very confident that with many more exciting events scheduled for 2015, the economic benefits to our community are going to be great.”

The RECC, along with support from the Town of Truro and Municipality of the County of Colchester, is set to host a major national event, the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, Master’s Championship in the fall of 2015. 

“That event will have a significant impact in the local community,” said Farida Gabbani, chairwoman of the RECC. “We know that when Summerside hosted the Player’s Championship in 2012 they reported the economic impact associated with that event to be $1.8 million.”

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