It’s been three years since the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games brought athletes from across Manitoba north to Thompson, so you might be surprised to find out that committees from the Winter Games have still been active completing final audits from the Games.
This year, 2018 Winter Games Host Society completed their last administrative activities, and at the end of April, the City of Thompson received the last $10, 000 hold-back from Sport Manitoba, closing the last chapter of the Winter Games in Thompson.
The Host Society left behind $423, 120.44 in legacy equipment and direct funding, benefitting city and local facilities like the TRCC and arenas, as well as community-driven clubs like the Burntwood Curling Club, Mystery Mountain Winter Park, and the Thompson Community Cross Country Trails. Several local clubs also received legacy funds and equipment from the Winter Games, including Thompson Tumblers, the Thompson Badminton Club, the Archery Club.
Beyond Legacy Funding
Following the games, an economic impact study was prepared by CTSA consultant Thomas McGuire, outlining the direct and spin-off economic benefits of the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games, estimating a a net benefit of $1.1 million to Thompson’s economy, $1.3 million across the province of Manitoba, and $1.7 million across Canada. The study’s presentation is available here.
One of the biggest benefactors was Thompson’s hospitality industry: over 3000 athletes, coaches, support staff, and spectators arrived in Thompson to attend the Winter Games. Roughly 99% of attendants planned an overnight stay in Thompson during the winter games, and 59% of them stayed three nights of more. Seventy percent of them stayed in a local hotel, with another 4% using a short-term rental platform like AirBnB.
These visitors spent an average of $767 during their stay, most of which was spent on food, beverages, and accommodations.
For The Winter Games also represented significant positive exposure for Thompson as a community. For 56% of visitors, it was their first visit to Thompson, and 92% of surveyed visitors rated their visit as “good” or “great”.
The 2018 Manitoba Winter Games are last Manitoba games that were hosted before the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Manitoba Summer Games were postponed twice, now to be held in in Dauphin in 2024.