They came, they partied, they spent.
After a whirlwind week of music, the Junos are over and local organizers are calling it a success.
Originally, it was estimated $9 million would be generated this week in money spent at bars, hotels, and the costs associated with setting up a national award show in Winnipeg, said Sara Stasiuk, executive director of Manitoba Music and the Winnipeg host committee’s finance chair. As of Sunday afternoon, that estimate appeared to be correct.
“I think so, people are spending money out there,” she said. “There will be bigger numbers later, but the estimate going into this is there’d be a $9-million lasting economic impact on the city.”
The Junos Awards had only a few tickets available on Sunday and Stasiuk said the sales for JunoFest were a roaring success, according to the various club owners who participated in the two-night event. In talking with the bars and clubs whose served up the drinks and late night tunes for the revelers, she said they were exceptionally pleased with attendance numbers.
“I know all the clubs were pleased when they were wrapping things up (Saturday) night, pleased with the amount of walk-ups on Saturday night. Things were kinda on track all the way through,” she said.
“Everything has been outstanding from our perspective. The clubs have been full, but people have able to get in. The industry is loving it,”
Overall, the impact has been great for the downtown, said Jason Syvixay, managing director for the Downtown BIZ.
“It’s just been great with people coming downtown and walking around, being able to see what it has to offer,” he said.
Although he couldn’t put a number on it, he said without a doubt all the businesses saw a great increase in foot traffic during a time of the year where downtown isn’t quite as bustling.
As one of the main hubs of the week, the Delta Hotel had a fully-booked weekend during a time notorious for being slow — the weekend before spring break.
“This is the first weekend before spring break and the city would be wide open, people go on holidays and leave the city, especially at the city centre. Everyone is going elsewhere,” said Helen Halliday, the hotel’s general manager. “So this is tremendous, the economic impact it has had.”
The compact downtown core is the perfect set up for events like these, she said.
“Winnipeg does events well … Just the concentration of our entertainment space, with our hotels, etc. We’re just got a great place to bring something like this, so we look forward to hosting more events in the future,” Halliday said.