Showing 43 per cent growth since 2010, Okanagan Hockey Group is providing a $19.1 million impact to the City of Penticton.
The report, completed by an independent third party, Lochaven Management Consultants Ltd., shows Okanagan Hockey Group as a significant regional enterprise with Penticton.
“We are very proud of this study and pleased to see the growth in our local economic impact here in Penticton,” said Andy Oakes, Okanagan Hockey Group president. “We are proud to be a growing business in Penticton that contributes to the community economically and socially.”
The financial impacts come from three streams. Okanagan Hockey Group injects $3.95 million into the local economy by way of 30 full-time ongoing jobs and 100 part-time jobs. The Okanagan Hockey Academy activities contribute $7.7 million in direct spending in Penticton with families relocating to Penticton, visiting families of OHA activities, student athletes and evaluation camps. Then, Okanagan Hockey Camps offer eight weeks of programming which benefit the community with an additional $4.8 million in direct spending through out of region players attending, along with their families, totalling 5,818 visitors in the summer.
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Oakes said the further leverage OHG has on the community is students giving back to their community, national and marketing exposure for tourism, the increase of students in School District 67 allows schools to offer some courses that they might otherwise not due to insufficient enrolment/interest and OHG coaches give back to minor hockey through providing three free coaching sessions per team.
School District 67 trustee Bill Bidlake said without the Okanagan Hockey Academy, there is about 30 to 40 local students who would attend school elsewhere to find that same experience.
“It is not just the OHA, all students benefit. We have heard of declining enrolments and school closures. It would make it a more difficult situation,” said Bidlake.
Currently the Okanagan Hockey Group has 160 student-athletes enrolled in Penticton Secondary School and KVR Middle School.