When she started up a race in her hometown, Michelle had no idea just how much she would impact the local economy. Now, her Maritime Race Weekend pulls runners from all over– and Nova Scotia businesses from the bagel maker to the fruit supplier are reaping the rewards.
In 2015, industry leaders and the media described Maritime Race Weekend as a well-organized event and recognized it as a gold label and destination race for Canada. This national recognition is a massive achievement, especially considering that the race experienced exponential growth and is still one of the newer marathon events in Canada.
Are we perfect? Of course not, but we are passionate and go to great lengths to deliver a fun and memorable road race.
As we enter into our fifth year, we’ve discovered that a number of government departments and tourism stakeholders are interested in helping our not-for-profit event grow. They’ve acknowledged our success in a number of areas. For example, we’ve had positive impact on the health and wellness of Nova Scotians; we’re self-sustaining and give net-profits back to local community groups; we’ve helped boost Fisherman’s Cove tourism and are contributing $1.4 million to the province’s GDP.
In January, Events Nova Scotia evaluated Maritime Race Weekend’s economic impact on our city and province and we were shocked by the results. The report produced by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance shows that Maritime Race Weekend creates over $2.8 million in economic activity for Nova Scotia, with almost two million staying directly in Halifax. Our race budget is only a fraction of this number, but the spin-offs (things like hotel rooms, car rentals, restaurants, shopping and organized tours) have increased the economic impact of our event beyond the race registrations.
· over 15,000 participants have crossed the finish line
· 21 per cent of participants come from outside of Nova Scotia
· 400 volunteers help make Maritime Race Weekend a success
· we employ one full-time and two contract staff, the event creates 22 jobs for Nova Scotians
· shops and restaurants in Fisherman’s Cove report record sales on race-day
· the race generates almost $580,000 in federal, provincial and municipal taxes
When I created Maritime Race Weekend in my hometown five years ago, I didn’t expect the race to grow so quickly. There are now a number of local businesses that rely on the revenue from Maritime Race Weekend. From the bagel baker, fruit supplier and printing company to the shops and restaurants at Fisherman’s Cove, plus the hotels that sell out months before the date. It’s amazing when you think of the economic impact a marathon can have on its community.
Helping our local economy is a bonus, but the most important goal is still to deliver a quality event. Runners sign up for Maritime Race Weekend to enjoy our scenic coastal routes and east coast atmosphere – we can’t let them down.
With the help of Destination Halifax and Tourism Nova Scotia, our goal is to ensure Good Times in the Maritimes goes beyond setting a PB. We’ll continue come up with new ideas, enhance the experience and help the event to thrive in a very competitive market.