Penticton Vees captain Owen Sillinger corrals the puck with Trail Smoke Eaters defenceman Connor Welsh on his tail during Game 5 of the BCHL playoff series. Kristi Patton/Western News

Event participants at SOEC campus generate $24.9 million

Report released by city shows $24.9 million economic impact from SOEC campus events

A report by the City of Penticton says the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre is estimated to have generated $24.9 million in spending in the city by event participants over the course of the year.

Analysis, completed by Economic Planning Group, looked at a 12-month time period, from June 2016 to May 2017, is based on the estimated spending of money in the initial round of spending by event participants in the community.

David Hall with Economic Planning Group said about 40 per cent of that impact is coming from people out of town.

Dean Clarke with Spectra, which runs the SOEC campus, told Coun. Andre Martin the year started off well so far.

“Certainly, 2018 started off with some great attendance with our curling event, Cirque du Soleil. The overall fall seems to be a little slow. We’ll see how that comes,” Clark said.

Asked by Coun. Judy Sentes about the city’s position with the SOEC compared to other communities, Hall said Penticton is unique by having a facility like the SOEC.

“You’re unique in a few ways. Going back to when you built the trade and convention centre … I think you were the only non-Victoria, non-Vancouver facility in the province that had a dedicated convention centre,” Hall said. “As far as your events centre is concerned … there’s not very many. Sometimes communities are just using like a civic arena like a proxy for that events centre. But you are quite unique in the mix of amenities that you have as entertainment and sporting venues.”

The summary for the SOEC broke down the event descriptions into six different categories (Penticton Vees, other hockey, concerts, others sports, family shows and community events) totalling $9,467,894 spent on events. The Vees posted the highest event expenditures with 41 games resulting in $4,014,308. According to the summary, concerts (15 held in the given time period) drew the highest overnight total at $407,900 and the biggest spend from regional visitors to the SOEC ($1,524,222). Using analysis of postal codes for all non-cash ticket purchases, it is estimated in the report that 58 per cent of concert attendees come from other locations in the Okanagan region.

The figures do not include the operating expenditures of the facilities themselves. The report said they are typically included, however, in the case of the SOEC, the facility operating expenditures are funded by the city. This report was attempting to focus the analysis solely on facility generated economic activity so the expenditures were not included.

Special events at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre saw the largest expenditures with $5,013,904. The 84 events (conventions, consumer shows, trade show, meetings/banquets and special evens) held over the 12-month period totalled $11,672,086.

The study includes all the spending by event attendees and participants. Additional spending that was captured in the modelling includes monies spent by event producers and promoters (including security, stagehands, event staff, utilities).

According to the report, the $24.9 million figure was run through the B.C. Input Output Model operated by B.C. Stats, the provincial government’s statistical agency. The model replicates activity of the B.C. economy and is used to estimate the overall economic impact that the direct expenditures generate.

Using the models estimates, the initial spending of $24.9 million results in total economic activity of nearly $34.8 million after all rounds of spending. It also generates the equivalent of 378 jobs and produces over $2 million in taxes. The model also accounts for money that leaks out of B.C. for the purchase of goods and services from other provinces and countries.

While the Okanagan Hockey School training centre ice surface was included in the study, the Okanagan Hockey Academy and school were not. The analysis is based on listings of events and counts of participants provided by Spectra. The calculations are based on a number of assumptions about per diem spending and length of stay of spectators and event attendees. Economic Planning Group said the assumptions are based on secondary source tourism surveys and other research. The research group has previously conducted assessments for B.C. Place, South Peace Multiplex in Dawson Creek and Tourism Victoria.

 

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