Winter in the Kawarthas: Polarfest and hockey – does it get more Canadian?

Peterborough, ON, Canada / (CHEXTV)
Winter in the Kawarthas: Polarfest and hockey - does it get more Canadian?

The canal beneath the Peterborough Liftlock will be crawling with skaters this weekend as the 9th annual Under-the-Lock hockey tournament gets underway.

fr-06-pkg-winter-events-mxf-00_00_39_10-still004“This year we have 62 teams competing, and we think it’ll be around the $1.8 million mark,” said tournament organizer Dave Smith.

And the number of teams means the tournament is a big economic generator for the city, as hotels and restaurants fill with team members and their families.

Organizers say a 2014 study showed the event generated almost $2M in revenue.

And Smith says it’s about more than just cash players spend.

“It’s the servers at the restaurants, it’s the cleaning staff at hotels, it’s the gas stations attendants. It’s all of the people who are working in retail, those are the ones who are really seeing the benefit because they’re getting an extra shift or two,” he told CHEX News.

The Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area says that makes for a surge in business during a typically slow month.

fr-06-pkg-winter-events-mxf-00_00_55_29-still006“It’s kind of a down period with sales and that, you know you’re over the holiday sales and all that,” said DBIA executive director Terry Guiel. “It’s kind of a lull we have, not just in the downtown, but in the entire community. So this is a really good boost.”

And while there’s hockey in Peterborough, north of the city it’s Polarfest!

Organizer Doug Northey says their event also brings people to the area.

hh“This little park beside has so many people go through it, day and night, and hopefully for the month if it all doesn’t melt on us. It does get people out, it does get people into the community and it does bring people in from all over. So it’s pretty awesome,” he said.

Polar Fest includes ice carving, polar paddling, and weather-permitting hot air balloon rides.  The main event is the Polar Plunge, which takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ennismore.

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