A Main Street business shows its new hours cut back due to COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 31. The Arctic Winter Games, scheduled to happen in Whitehorse March 15 to 21, was the first of the territory’s major events to cancel due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Over $9 million of economic activity projected for cancelled AWG

Up to 2,000 athletes and 900 visitors were expected

A new assessment has revealed the economic loss caused by the cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games (AWG).

The AWG host society, the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) and the Yukon’s Department of Economic Development worked together to produce the economic impact assessment.

Up to $1.4 million was linked to “direct visitor spending.” The games were expecting 1,953 competitors as well as 900 visitors. Up to 32 local jobs were projected to be created with an estimated $9.96-million worth of economic activity in the Yukon, $9.19 million of it in Whitehorse specifically.

There was supposed to be $3.2 million worth of salaries. The 900 visitors were projected to spend an estimated $1.47 million.

The event itself was to have an impact on the country’s, territory’s and city’s gross domestic product. Canada was to see $6.1 million, $5.7 million for the Yukon and $4.4 million for Whitehorse.

The games were projected to generate $1.3 million in taxes across the country.

These numbers were reached using the CSTA’s impact modelling tools.

Moira Lassen, the AWG general manager, said this is the first time an assessment like this has been done for an Arctic Winter Games that was cancelled. She explained there had to be a pivot from how assessments were previously done, since they usually are done for events taking place.

She was surprised to see the projection of 900 visitors.

“That number was a pleasant surprise,” Lassen said.

She explained that 900 would have brought $1.4 million in spending, which would have covered meals, lodging and any other shopping.

She said the impacts went well beyond what was estimated following the cancellation.

“I think there was more impact than we anticipated,” Lassen said.

She said that it would be apples-to-oranges to compare these projected numbers to previous years, where the games actually took place.

She pointed out that this year’s games were the first international multi-sporting event that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She clarified the assessment is not the financial outlook for the host society; the finances for the society are being wrapped up.

“We (the society) feel we are doing well,” Lassen said.

The games were set to kick off on March 15 but were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the recommendations of the Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

Team Yukon

Just Posted

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for the Nordenskiold and Klondike Rivers on May 11. Photo by Yukon Protective Services
Nordenskiold, Klondike rivers see rising water levels; advisory issued

Following the river-ice breakup, flows have continued to rise on Nordenskiold and Klondike River systems, said a release by the Emergency Measures Organization.

Mike Thomas/Yukon News file
A fox runs across the street at Main Street and Third Avenue.
A new project seeks to learn more about Whitehorse fox populations

A new project to monitor and improve the understanding of urban foxes living in Whitehorse will begin this year

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.


Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

Most Read