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2024 Ontario Winter Games receives $200K from accommodation tax

Thunder Bay will play host to over 3,000 athletes in February 2024
Tourism Thunder Bay manager Paul Pepe, left, CEDC CEO Jamie Taylor, centre, and Ontario Winter Games co-chair Tracie Smith pose with a symbolic cheque for $200,000 (CEDC photo)

THUNDER BAY — Visitors to the city are helping to pay the cost of hosting the 2024 Ontario Winter Games.

The event takes place next February, and will bring over 3,000 athletes to Thunder Bay.

To help cover the city's costs of hosting the games, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and Tourism Thunder Bay are releasing $200,000 in funding from the CEDC's tourism development fund.

Money for the fund is generated by the four per cent municipal accommodation tax which is collected from short-term stays at local hotels and motels.

The CEDC and Tourism Thunder Bay administer 50 per cent of the total revenues from the tax to support tourism-focused events and products.

Tracie Smith, co-chair of the 2024 Ontario Winter Games, described the contribution as inspiring and meaningful.

"This funding supports thousands of athletes to pursue their dreams, while our community realizes many significant benefits, including an estimated $6 million economic boost," Smith said.

Tourism Thunder Bay manager Paul Pepe said sports tourism is a major economic driver and is helping to transform the city's tourism industry into "a true four-season destination."

CEDC CEO Jamie Taylor noted that the commission's new strategic plan focuses on supporting year-round visitor experiences, and said the winter games are a good opportunity to showcase Thunder Bay's capacity for hosting high-calibre winter events.

The last time Thunder Bay played host to the Ontario Winter Games was 50 years ago.



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