May 22, 2015 - 10:31 AM
KELOWNA - Staff are recommending the City of Kelowna spend $115,000 in a bid to host the 2019 55+ B.C. Games.
In a report to council, event development supervisor Mariko Siggers says community support for the bid is solid, the facilities already exist and the return on investment will amount to at least $2 million spent in local restaurants and hotels.
“There are many benefits to hosting these games including healthy communities and economic impact,” Siggers says. “Kelowna has a strong history of hosting successful games and is positioned well to put on another successful multi-sport event.”
Siggers says the Central Okanagan school district has offered some of its facilities for use during the games and is expected to give an official letter of support in early June.
The three senior’s societies in Kelowna have also said they support the bid and have said their facilities are also available for use.
While earlier dates are available - 2017 or 2018 - Siggers says staff feel September, 2019 best suits Kelowna.
“In 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary and many initiatives will be taking place throughout the community with the potential to detract from the 55+ Games,” Sigger says. “Holding the games in 2019 would allow staff and community ample time to prepare and build organizational capacity by hosting lead-up events."
Holding the event in September is preferable to August to avoid overlap with the Kelowna Apple Triathlon.
To back up the bid, Kelowna must put up $60,000 cash and a further $55,000 in in-kind services, mostly for the use of facilities. However, grants of up to $90,000 based on particicipant numbers are available from the B.C. Games Society.
The games used to be known as the B.C. Seniors Games but the name changed last year.
Kelowna city councillors will consider the request during its public meeting on Monday, May 25.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015