Truro stands to gain

Home­town Hockey tour ex­pected to bring ma­jor cash to the area

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES RISDON SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Truro’s econ­omy could get a ma­jor boost dur­ing Oc­to­ber as the Rogers Home­town Hockey tour spot­lights the town on Sport­snet.

“There’s a po­ten­tial for $1 mil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the com­mu­nity,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills. “We’ve been re­brand­ing Truro and area for the bet­ter part of four to five years and it’s pay­ing off.”

Dur­ing the Rogers Home­town Hockey Tour, Cana­dian sports­caster Ron MacLean and TV per­son­al­ity Tara Slone will visit 24 com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try, start­ing with Ni­a­gara Falls on Oct. 7 and 8 and end­ing up in Mon­treal on the last week­end of March.

Truro is the tour’s only stop in Nova Sco­tia – and it has Mills and other com­mu­nity and busi­ness lead­ers stoked.

The Rogers Home­town Hockey Tour will be pulling into the com­mu­nity on Oct. 28 and will be there for two days of free hockey fes­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing live en­ter­tain­ment, lo­cal celebs, NHL alumni and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Live from their Sport­snet mobile stu­dio, MacLean and Slone will host a pre-game, in­ter­mis­sion and post-game show high­light­ing lo­cal cul­ture, sto­ries unique to Truro and, of course, hockey his­tory.

Mayor Mills is call­ing it a full-meal deal. “It’s a great way to show­case ev­ery­thing about hockey in Truro, in­clud­ing our in­volve­ment with the ju­nior A Bearcats,” said the mayor. “We’ll be talk­ing about Truro and what it has to of­fer in terms of busi­ness and not just hockey.”

That’s mu­sic to the ears of Alex Steven­son, pres­i­dent of the Truro and Colch­ester Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“We value the eco­nomic im­pact this type of event brings to our re­gion and we’re ex­cited to wel­come Ron, Tara and the Sport­snet team to our com­mu­nity,” said Steven­son.

At the Bike Mon­key on the Es­planade in down­town Truro, owner Jeff Simms op­er­ates as “the Ice Mon­key” dur­ing the win­ter months, sharp­en­ing 60 to 80 pairs of skates daily, sell­ing hockey sticks and ser­vic­ing equip­ment. He’s hop­ing the tour will boost busi­ness.

“I would like to think it will in­crease in­ter­est and sales and help tourism,” he said. “Def­i­nitely, the buzz will help lo­cal tourism.”

Sports store man­agers in Truro were still try­ing to fig­ure out how to best cap­i­tal­ize on their good for­tune Tues­day.

At the Truro Mall Sport Chek, man­ager on duty Al­lie Thompson said even lo­cal hockey tour­na­ments are enough to bring in a bit more busi­ness as play­ers come in to sharpen skates. Al­though the pric­ing and sales at the na­tional sports re­tailer are mostly han­dled by head of­fice, the lo­cal man­agers can have their own man­ager’s spe­cials.

This isn’t the Truro area’s first time out of the gate with a ma­jor hockey event.

In late Septem­ber 2006, Colch­ester Legion Sta­dium hosted an NHL ex­hi­bi­tion game as a re­ward for Salmon River’s Deuville Rink win­ning the Kraft Hock­eyville com­pe­ti­tion. In that con­test, the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens soundly trounced the Ot­tawa Se­na­tors 7-3.

“That was just elec­tric and I’d say the Rogers Home­town Hockey Tour will be much the same way,” said the mayor.

The tour or­ga­niz­ers ap­proached the town ear­lier this year and Mayor Mills was quick to rec­og­nize that this was a chance to get Truro a lot of pos­i­tive at­ten­tion. He jumped at it.

“Any op­por­tu­nity for us to pro­mote Truro is an op­por­tu­nity we’re go­ing to take,” he said. “We’re get­ting more event con­scious and it’s pay­ing div­i­dends.”

CODY mCEACHERN/tRuRO DAILY NEWs

Aside from his bi­cy­cle re­pairs and re­tail business through Bike Mon­key, owner Jeff Simms of­fers winter sports gear and skate sharp­en­ing ser­vices un­der his Ice Mon­key brand. He’s hop­ing he Home­town Hockey tour stop will boost business through­out the area.

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