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Winnipeg tourism industry ready for Canada Summer Games windfall

Flickr: 2017CanadaGames / File

WINNIPEG – Thousands of athletes and their supporters began arriving Thursday but boat tour operator Andrew Bart has already noticed more people on his river tours.

Splash Dash Boat Tours offers cruises on the Red and Assiniboine rivers at The Forks, a popular tourist spot.

“We’ve been beefing up our staff a little bit, bringing in a bunch more people expecting a pretty busy couple of weeks,” said Bart.

Over the next two weeks 4,000 athletes and 20,000 visitors are expected to come to Winnipeg.

The projected economic impact of the Summer Games is $153 million.

“If we use probably the most recent example of a Canada Summer Games, the last one in 2013 in Sherbrooke, Quebec realized about 165 million economic impact,” said Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

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So far 8,000 hotel room nights have been booked for the two week the Summer Games is in Winnipeg.

The opening ceremonies take place Friday evening and events start on Saturday, July 29.

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