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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Reita, Dudley and Rodney Morgan at their Whitehorse home in 2002. (P. Gowdie/Courtesy Yukon Hidden Histories Society)
Recognizing Black history in the Yukon

Yukon’s Hidden Histories Society is entering its twentieth year of researching Black… Continue reading

Dahria Beatty and her Canadian teammates are set to begin the FIS World Nordic Ski Championships this week. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Beatty, Team Canada set for FIS World Nordic Ski Championships

Yukon’s Dahria Beatty was one of 10 skiers named by Nordiq Canada… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

A Faro volunteer fire department truck in 2008. In a virtual press conference on Feb. 15, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, territorial Community Services Minister John Streicker and Faro Mayor Leonard Fabor announced the Town of Faro will have a new public works and fire hall building in 2022. (Genesee Keevil/Yukon News file)
Fire hall, public works building will be built in Faro

Wildstone Construction Ltd. awarded contract

Most Read