The B.C. Summer Games brought other rewards beyond gold, silver and bronze medals.
According to a study released this week, the 2014 Games in Nanaimo generated a direct economic impact of $2 million to the region.
“It’s an extremely good figure and we’re very pleased with that and pleased that the Games had that impact on the community,” said Jeff Lott, Games president. “It was significant, we made it happen, we were pleased, the sponsors were very pleased and I think the community as a whole really benefited.”
The B.C. Summer Games were held July 17-20. Total spending was $1,968,700, with $821,700 coming from Games organizers and $1,147,000 from participants, spectators and volunteers. At the 2002 B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo, total spending was $2,030,800, with $562,900 from organizers and $1,467,900 from participants, spectators and volunteers.
“When we were comparing  to previous Games, we had anticipated the number to be slightly higher, but I’m not going to be disappointed,” Lott said. “This is a different time and place.”
According to the study, prepared by Economic Planning Group of Victoria, 48 per cent of spectators came from outside Vancouver Island. Accommodation spending totalled $195,900 and restaurant meals accounted for $122,160.
The Games president mentioned that beyond the direct economic impact, there will be spin-offs, such as greater awareness about the region’s tourist attractions.
Lott said sport tourism is a growing industry in B.C. and suggested Nanaimo will continue to have opportunities to attract athletes and sports teams, from youth divisions to seniors.
“We have the facilities, we’ve got the infrastructure, the community has seen the benefit of it,” Lott said. “It certainly would be good to keep our eyes open … The community would be ready for it.”