September 26, 2013 - 4:28 PM
PENTICTON - City of Penticton officials are singing the praises of the South Okanagan Event Centre for generating $23.9 million over a five-year period.
An economic impact study found the $23.9 million was earned through direct spending. Add the economic spinoffs and the revenue becomes $33.9 million.
It has been five years since the centre opened its doors. Mayor Garry Litke says, "We had a vision of the economic activity we wanted to generate and five years after opening the doors, we have achieved that goal."
The $33.9 million generated the equivalent of 368 jobs and produced about $2 million in tax revenue. The figure includes $6.85 million from direct spending associated with the South Okanagan Events Centre facility alone. The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre earned the lion's share with $12.57 million in participant expenditures.
The study also discovered visitors to concerts and sporting events spend $140 per day in hotels compared to $80 if staying with friends or relatives. Out-of-towners at the convention centre who stay just two nights spend $275 per day. The remainder of the South Okanagan Events Centre generates between $15 and $70 per day in spending from same-day travelers.
This does not satisify complex general manager Dean Clarke. While he's happy about what's been achieved but he wants more.
"Our goal is to push the direct and indirect spending over the $50 million mark, which we are nearing given Okanagan Hockey School’s $13 million economic impact," Clarke says.
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