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

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

VIDEO: Central Albertans learn about Icelandic poet at Stephansson House

Harvest Fair and Quilt Show hosted at Stephansson House in Spruce View Sunday

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month