SOEC economic impact a reason to celebrate

Tomorrow marks the official five-year anniversary of the South Okanagan Events Centre, and the City of Penticton has over 23 million reasons to celebrate.

An economic impact study of the SOEC and complex found that direct spending from facility attendants is calculated to be $23.9 million annually, with spinoffs that boost the local economic activity in Penticton and region to be $33.9 million. 

“We had a vision of the economic activity we wanted to generate with the South Okanagan Events Centre, and five years after opening the doors, we have achieved that goal,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “The City of Penticton congratulates Global Spectrum staff on this important milestone, and thanks them for their continued efforts to have a positive impact on our community and region as a whole.”

The figure includes $6.85 million from direct annual spending associated with the South Okanagan Events Centre facility alone. The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, currently in a banner year of operations, remains the largest economic driver of the complex with $12.57 million in participant expenditures annually.

Per diem spending has a direct impact on the local business community, and depends on what facility and type of event the participant is attending. Spectators of SOEC sporting events and concerts typically spend $140 per day if staying in commercial accommodation, compared with $80 if they are staying with friends or relatives. Out-of-town delegates at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre who stay a minimum of 2 nights spend $275 per day. The remainder of the complex generates between $15 and $70 per day in spending from same-day travelers, depending on the type of event.

Dean Clarke, SOEC General Manager and Global Spectrum's Regional Vice-President said, “Our goal is to push the direct and indirect spending over the $50 million mark, which we are nearing given Okanagan Hockey School's $13 million economic impact. If we continue the collaborative work with our partners throughout the community, we will achieve this target together.”