Curling organizer reflects on event

By Michael Joel-Hansen
January 30, 2019 - 6:40pm

Organizers are looking back on the Canadian Junior Curling Championships with much pride.

The Gateway to the North hosted the country’s best junior curlers for nine days. Reflecting on the event, Host Committee Chair Bryan Rindal told paNOW from an economic standpoint the numbers are close to what was projected.

“We calculated about 2,200 hotel room nights,” he said.

Rindal added much of the economic impact study was also based on the number of people expected to come to the city from out of province.

Overall, he said he was happy with how the event turned out and was especially so regarding the volunteers who came out, with some going above and beyond the call of duty.

One case of this involved one of the coaches having a medical emergency, which required he be taken to Saskatoon for care.

“The Quebec coach with his eye, detached retina … one of our drivers, I think he made three trips,” Rindal said.

The story didn’t end there as this same coach was scheduled to take a train back home because he was unable to fly following his eye surgery. To catch his train, he had to leave early and was therefore set to miss the wrap-up banquet. An issue with the train however caused his trip to be delayed, so he was fetched and brought back to P.A. so he could indeed attend the finale.

“He’s now being boarded by some of our volunteers here in town,” Rindal said.

Looking at the overall attendance for the championships, Rindal said the numbers were lower than what was originally projected.

“Our local fans just did not come out,” he said.

He figured that could be chalked up to a couple of factors.

“Weather didn’t help us, there’s a few things that didn’t help us, I mean, weather was number one, the first weekend was just miserably cold,” he said.

Rindal also speculated that some possible fans were drawn away by the Saskatchewan Women’s Provincial Championship in Humboldt.

“I am sure it took some our fan base away, because there were two big curling events going on within an hour and half of each other,” he said.

Tournament organizers had full control over setting the ticket prices for the games and Rindal felt the tickets were affordably priced.

 “We also used 300 volunteers who would have been paying to sit in the stand if we hadn’t put them to work,” he said.

The Prince Albert Inn was the host accommodation for the teams. Paul Dicks, the general manager said it was good experience for his hotel. During the tournament the team’s decorated the doors of their hotel rooms with their provincial colours.   

“It was wonderful to see and was encouraging,” Dicks said.

Dicks said hosting the tournament likely didn’t just provide a bump for hotels, as other businesses like restaurants also saw increased business. He added it would be nice for the city to host more events like this going forward.

For his part, Rindal said he thinks the city could host another large curling tournament in the future.

“I think we could look at a Scotties, a lady’s worlds we could look at for sure,” he said.

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