Westerner Days will have a gross economic impact of more than $7.3 million

Red Deer’s annual Westerner Days Fair and Exposition brings plenty of entertainment and excitement to the city.

Red Deer’s annual Westerner Days Fair and Exposition brings plenty of entertainment and excitement to the city.

It also provides a sizable injection of cash, according to a study conducted last year by Enigma Research Corp.

Enigma, which was commissioned by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions to assess the impact of Red Deer’s summer celebration, concluded that the five-day event at Westerner Park will have a gross economic impact of more than $7.3 million this year.

Approximately $5 million will be spent by non-local attendees, the study found, including $3 million on attractions and at concessions at the fair grounds. Enigma estimated that approximately $1.5 million more will be spent off-site, with about $660,000 for shopping, $300,000 for automotive expenses, $255,000 for accommodations and more than $200,000 on dining.

Westerner Park president Wendy Barnes said in a news release that operational spending by Westerner Park and other companies on site will total nearly $500,000 this year, including wages and equipment rentals.

Erin Gobolos, Westerner Parks marketing and sponsorship manager, said on Monday that Enigma conducted 800 on-site interviews during last year’s Westerner Days, and also looked at accounting records and gate receipts. Its findings were provided to Westerner Park last fall, and released to the media on Sunday.

“We always thought that we had a great event and there was some benefit to the city and surrounding area, but we actually were surprised by how good it was,” said Gobolos.

One of the things that struck her, she said, was a determination that 43 per cent of the more than 90,000 people who attended last summer’s fair came from outside the Red Deer area.

“I really believe that’s because we are a really good alternative to going to Edmonton or Calgary.”

Gobolos said Westerner Park wants to publicize the benefits of Westerner Days to Red Deer and the local economy, and plans to release more data from the study in the future.

“They collected information in the survey on everything from where people are coming from, the demographic makeup of these people, what things they’re going to be looking at purchasing over the next couple of years, what entertainment they’re looking at.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001 HALIFAX —… Continue reading

Assisted-death lawsuit adjourned, government evidence widens eligibility: lawyer

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and a woman with… Continue reading

International group takes pass on monitoring election due to limited resources

OTTAWA — An international body that specializes in monitoring elections is skipping… Continue reading

Schools can borrow Second World War artifacts through Canadian War Museum program

Classrooms across Canada can borrow sets of Second World War artifacts and… Continue reading

Ottawa loses in court battle with Bangladesh over alleged coup plotter

OTTAWA — Bangladesh has won a round in its court battle with… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001 HALIFAX —… Continue reading

Assisted-death lawsuit adjourned, government evidence widens eligibility: lawyer

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and a woman with… Continue reading

International group takes pass on monitoring election due to limited resources

OTTAWA — An international body that specializes in monitoring elections is skipping… Continue reading

Schools can borrow Second World War artifacts through Canadian War Museum program

Classrooms across Canada can borrow sets of Second World War artifacts and… Continue reading

Some Canadian schools, colleges move to accommodate climate strikes

TORONTO — Students in Canada are expected to participate in climate demonstrations… Continue reading

Ottawa loses in court battle with Bangladesh over alleged coup plotter

OTTAWA — Bangladesh has won a round in its court battle with… Continue reading

Gardening: Plan to take your plants inside

Fall is fast approaching and it is time to start thinking about… Continue reading

Most Read