Saskatoon Exhibition generates economic spinoff

Watch the video above: The Ex brings in big bucks for Saskatoon

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Exhibition is one of the largest events in the province, generating over six figures in profits.

Local hotels, restaurants, gas stations and shopping malls all cash-in from the Ex but Prairieland Park gains the most.

The gates opened for the 128-year summertime staple with a parade on Tuesday.

WATCH: Parade launches 2014 Saskatoon Exhibition

Rides, food, games and entertainment are all busy bringing money in at the six-day event.

“If you have 220,000 people that are kind of what we’ve had for the last number of years, you have that many people coming and the average spends $50 to $100, it does add up,” said Carl Schlosser, Prairieland Park events director.

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After all is said and done, Prairieland Park made $1.17 million in 2013 and all of it went back into infrastructure.

“The fair is our flagship event but keep in mind that we do 350 plus events throughout the year so it all goes towards helping those components as well,” said Schlosser.

“It’s a huge economic impact that’s left for the rest of the year and for future years, if you look at the expansion of Prairieland Park what’s happened up there, a lot of that is attributed to the dollars they raise during Ex week,” said Randy Fernets, with Tourism Saskatoon.

“There’s a spin off in regards to that hosting national conventions and even provincial conventions.”

Seventeen years ago, the Ex was moved from July to after the August long weekend. Officials say attendance hasn’t been better but breaking the attendance record hinges on one variable.

“Naturally it’s all skewed around attendance. If the weathers on our side and we get the numbers, that helps bring in the dollars for sure,” said Schlosser.

The record attendance for the Ex came in 2012 with 221,156 people showing up.