FFCBC brings business boom

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is much more than a fishing tournament to the local tourist industry-it is a lifeline.
“It certainly brought a lot of business to town” said Jack Mutz, the owner of the Bayview Motel. “It was the same or even better than last year,” he added.
According to Mutz over half of his 31 rooms are booked a year in advance for the tournament. Other hotels reported similar good returns.
“It was really good,” said Trish McBride of the 59-room Super 8 Motel. “Saturday night, there was maybe one vacancy in the whole place. It was a big improvement over last year,” she added.
“We were full,” echoed Gordon Sisco, the owner of the 17-room Rainbow Motel. Of those rooms, Sisco estimated that 15 anglers stayed there including the Lindner team.
“They book [for] the next year as soon as they walk in the door,” said Sisco. “That’s about as good as you’re gonna get,” he added.
As for the clientele, Sisco was very complimentary.
“They’re always friendly,” he said. “We had four or five teams that were in the money. And we even sponsor a couple teams and, of course, volunteer down at Sandy Point dock.”
However, the boom was not confined just to the hotel industry. With the weather holding up (with the exception of Saturday morning) and a mass of spectators heading down to the tent to watch the final weigh-ins, the Sorting Gap Marina also reported a record weekend.
“It was nuts,” said marina manager Trevor Hands.
“We sold over 1,000 ice creams and popsicles on Saturday alone. It is by far the best weekend of the year,” he added.
The benefits from the tournament were also felt by gas stations (estimates range for $80-$100 in gas per boat per day), grocery stores and restaurants. Just about every tourist-oriented business in town reported a stellar weekend.
It is clear that the Swenson and Lindsay were not the only winners last weekend. The question that remains is how these business will fare for the rest of the summer with the biggest money-making event behind them.