After an enthusiastic, well-attended opening ceremony Feb. 14, and three days of elite sporting competition, the curtain closed on the 2020 Alberta Winter Games Feb. 17 – and what a weekend it was.
Even if you didn’t watch or take part directly in the myriad sporting competitions that were on display, no matter where you went in Airdrie throughout the course of the weekend, you were bound to encounter the spirit of the Games in one way or another. Whether it was walking through Genesis Place Recreation Centre, shopping at a grocery store or eating at a local restaurant, you likely couldn’t help but overhear snippets of enthusiastic conversation from fans, athletes and coaches.
Hosting an event like the Alberta Winter Games comes with a hefty price tag, but there’s no doubt the economic benefits will make the costs worth it. The host society has projected an overall impact of $4.1 million on the local economy. (Final figures will be presented to Airdrie City council later this year). There will certainly be a trickle-down effect that helps our community’s local businesses, many of which are struggling with the impacts of the current economic low Alberta finds itself in.
The event also provided the city the chance to show off to an audience of thousands of visitors – displaying to the rest of the province what the city has to offer, including gems like Genesis Place, Nose Creek Regional Park and Nose Creek Valley Museum.For many of the 6,000-plus visitors who came to Airdrie for the Games, this was likely the first time they’d stepped foot in our city, and the community did a fabulous job welcoming them.