The 2018 Alberta Winter Games Wood Buffalo have come and gone but not before leaving a significant impact on the region.
Over the weekend, around 2,000 athletes from across the province took part in multiple events in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, and Anzac. This including hockey, speed skating, badminton, archery, and much more.
AWG General Manager Michelle Toner tells Mix News they’re working with the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance to figure out the economic impact the games had.
Before the games, they were estimating that roughly $3.4 million would be put towards the region’s economy with the province as a whole getting around $5.2 million.
“It’s one of the reasons why we do these events, to bring people to our community, and support local businesses.”
They were also expecting businesses to see roughly $1 million in revenue over the four-day event.
Through ticket sales, it’s expected around 3,500 people attended the sporting events in the three communities.
“Definitely not an exact science but we know our hotels were full and that people were out to watch the events so we’re definitely happy with that,” added Toner.
Around 1,900 volunteers also gave up some of their time over the long weekend.
Toner notes in the weeks leading up to the games, almost 1,000 people signed up to volunteer.
“It was Family Day weekend and people showed up in droves to help us – we had more volunteers then we even needed and not only did they show up, they helped our community shine this weekend.”
Since the games were officially approved back in 2016, Toner says she’s been envisioning what they’d look like. To her, they weren’t exactly what she’d imagine but the end result was the same, a positive impact on the region.