Sports tourism options on table

Joey Payeur

It could be a vital first step in providing an economic boost to the district.
The Rainy River Future Development Corp. is holding a planning session on sports tourism tomorrow (April 13) from 7-9 p.m. at the Copper River Inn.
The meeting will see local sports teams and organizations, business owners, and others submit their ideas on what can be done to better promote sports tourism in the area.
“We want to identify sports and recreation activities that will attract people to the Rainy River District,” explained Tara Allaire, RRFDC’s development co-ordinator for marketing and events.
“We want to explore the benefits of sports tourism in our region, and look at the limiting factors that affect sports tourism and how we can remove those limitations,” she added.
Allaire said the idea of tomorrow’s session is to reach a general consensus on three activities that either currently exist and have the potential to grow, or are brand new ones.
She noted the idea for the session came out of the Town of Fort Frances’ strategic plan.
“They identified [promoting sports tourism] as something they wanted to do,” Allaire said.
“The town wanted to examine opportunities related to sports tourism.”
Allaire is cautiously optimistic the session will yield positive results and provide a stepping stone for the future of sports tourism in the district.
“We’re hoping it comes together smoothly . . . we’ll see when we get there,” she remarked.
“We’re in a great location with the border right there, it’s three hours to Thunder Bay one way and [four] hours to Winnipeg the other way,” added Allaire.
“There’s lots of opportunities, and we have to determine where the opportunities are and work together to grow them,” she stressed.
Taggs/Source for Sports owner Russ Ling believes boosting sports tourism in the district is a concept whose time definitely has come.
“I think it’s very exciting we’re doing this,” he enthused.
“I hope a lot of great ideas come out of it,” Ling added.
“I’m all for it and I want to help in any way I possibly can.”