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OSOYOOS TO HOST 2012 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
The Town of Osoyoos has successfully secured the 2012 Pacific Northwest Economic Development Council Conference (PNEDC), which will run from June 17-19, 2012, at the Watermark Beach Resort.
“I think [Osoyoos] is the perfect location for a conference,” said Jim Newman, community development manager.
“We will put out our best foot and put on a great conference for these people, and they’ll be going home, I would think, looking at coming back and spending some time here.”
The PNEDC was started in 1959 as a way to provide a forum for networking and training professionals in economic development. The council represents a number of north-western provinces, territories and states, and bounces between the U.S. and Canada every year. After attending last year’s conference in Sun River, Idaho, Newman thought this would be a great time to throw Osoyoos’ hat in the ring.
In the end, both Osoyoos and Kamloops were being considered as the destination, but Osoyoos was finally chosen. Newman believes Osoyoos was picked for two reasons: the strength of the package they presented and proximity to the U.S. border.
The conference is expected to draw a minimum of 75 professionals, which include economic development officers (EDO), economic development associations, regional economic development associations and their families. Newman said the town has been working in collaboration with the Hotel/Motel Association to promote Osoyoos as a conference destination in order to improve shoulder-season occupancies in Osoyoos.
“Conferences bring in, on average, per person between $250 to $300 a day,” said Newman. “So that’s huge.”
In addition to the economic boost, Newman said this is a great way to showcase Osoyoos, and at the same time, a way to build relationships with other economic development communities, particularly in Washington.
Besides the PNEDC, the Town of Osoyoos is also hoping to successfully bid on the 2014 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FDM) board meeting, which would bring roughly 65 board members and their families to Osoyoos. Newman said the town has once again presented a great package, but since the 2013 conference is being held in Tofino, it’s a toss-up as to whether or not it will once again be held in British Columbia.