RBC Cup funds approved amidst debate

A major sports event is garnering support although some officials are less than enthusiastic.

A major sports event is garnering support although some officials are less than enthusiastic.

Vernon council has agreed to  a tourism advisory committee recommendation to provide $14,450 in hotel room tax revenue to offset marketing expenses for the 2014 Royal Bank Cup.

However, the committee believes the Canadian junior hockey championships are more of a community focus than a tourism event.

“As the Vernon Vipers have a large, loyal fan base, accommodators expect that most spectators will be local and regional rather than overnight visitors,” said Michelle Jefferson, tourism manager, in a report to council.

“Council should be aware that although teams, their support staff and Hockey Canada staff will stay in accommodation in Vernon, these rooms are paid for by the local organizing committee rather than these guests.”

The tourism committee’s comments upset Coun. Patrick Nicol, who insists the RBC Cup is a tourism draw.

“A significant number of people are coming (to Vernon) and that statement is out of line,” he said.

Organizers have stated the event could attract 3,500 to 4,000 visitors and have a local economic benefit of $1.5 million.

The 2014 Royal Bank Cup tournament, which will bring together two teams from Western Canada, one from Central Canada and one from Eastern Canada, along with the host Vernon Vipers, runs from May 10 to 18, 2014 at Wesbild Centre.