It was a fierce bidding process, but when it came to the finish line the City of Coquitlam stood first - winning the right to host the 2016 BC Seniors Games.
The city is expecting an influx of 3,500-to-4,000 athletes over the course of four days, from Aug. 23 to 26, bringing with them a projected $2-million in revenue, according to Coquitlam Coun. Craig Hodge.
"This is a major sporting event, it's actually bigger than the [BC] Summer Games," he told the Tri-Cities NOW. "And when the seniors come to town, they stay in our hotels and eat at our restaurants. The economic driver on this is huge."
The City of Coquitlam hasn't hosted a similar-sized sporting event since 1991, when it welcomed the BC Seniors and Summer Games and built the Percy Perry Stadium to accommodate them. But this time around there's going to be no extra cost for infrastructure, Hodge said, as the city already has the facilities in place to host the games.
"Our facilities are in top-notch shape," Hodge said. "We got the brand new renovated complex going to be up at Poirier.
The new covered facility [to be built on Poirier]. We've re-done the field down at Percy Perry [Stadium]."
It's also not just beneficial to the city but to the Tri-Cities as a whole, according to Hodge.
"This is going to be a region-wide event," he said. "There are 24 to 29 activities that will be taking place, and one of them is Dragon Boating. That will take place in the Inlet at Port Moody."
He said the city is going to be forming a Seniors Games Committee to organize all the necessities for athletes and volunteers.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said it was the effort of the community which earned the city the honours to host.
"Many people put a lot of effort into the games bid, so this is great news for Coquitlam," he said in a press release. "Our community is proud to support good health in all stages of life; what better way to showcase this, than to host the inspiring role models competing in the Games."
June Parsons, BC Seniors Games Society president congratulated Coquitlam on it's successful bid.
"The first step towards [a] successful Games is a host community filled with exuberance and dedication to showcase their community to the thousands of 55-plus B.C. Seniors," she said. "We are looking forward to your community's involvement in staging a memorable set of Games."
The 2016 BC Seniors Games will be organized by a 13-member board of directors and more than 1,200 volunteers.
"The Games help promote active, healthy lifestyles, and Celebrating the announcement are Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, BC Summer Games Society president June Parson, and MLAs Linda Reimer and Douglas Horne.
encourage individual achievements and community pride," the press release states.
The BC Seniors Games were held in Kamloops this year. They are to be hosted in Langley in 2014 and North Vancouver in 2015.
For more information visit www.bcseniorsgames.org.
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