The community has been selected to host the 2016 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Wrestling Championship. Taking place this February at Algoma University’s newly-renovated George Leach Centre, the event will attract the sport’s top talent from across the province and inject a significant amount of visitor spending into the local economy. The 2016 OUA Wrestling Championship was secured by Algoma University, with assistance from Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. The two organizations have worked together to bid on or host a number of past tournaments, including the 2011 Ontario Colleges Athletics Association Basketball Championships and 2013 Ontario Basketball Association Provincial Championships. Working with community partners to bid on or secure major events that draw visitors is one of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie’s main activities.
· To help market the community’s industrial and commercial properties, the SSMEDC is now formally engaging area realtors. The planned partnerships are designed to promote business opportunities to global investors while also providing external companies with an efficient method of tapping into local development prospects. The SSMEDC has been working with realtors for many years, and this initiative will help formalize the process and ensure it’s more efficient and effective. Under the initiative, the SSMEDC will soon be featuring enhanced listings of commercial and industrial properties on its website. As well, when an external investor contacts the SSMEDC about a real estate opportunity, the lead will be given to qualified realtors on a rotating basis. To take part in this initiative, realtors must apply by December 18.
· Northern Ontario’s most modern sports and entertainment complex is hosting a National Hockey League pre-season game next season. The Carolina Hurricanes will play the Buffalo Sabres at the Essar Centre on October 5, 2016. This event was acquired by the City of Sault Ste. Marie – in particular, its Community Services Department. Though not directly involved with securing the exhibition game, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie will soon be working with its Municipal partner at marketing and promoting the event. Specifically, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie will offer ticket and accommodation packages on its online reservation system. The first of its kind in Northern Ontario, the web-based portal allows travellers to book their hotel, entertainment and attractions with the simple click of a mouse.
· This week, members of the SSMEDC’s Business Development team met with representatives from a national financial services company that’s looking to establish a presence in Northern Ontario. Sault Ste. Marie is among the short list of cities that the company is interested in setting up shop in. During the meetings, SSMEDC staff presented information on the local economy and the community in general, along with its competitive advantages and quality-of-life benefits. Fielding these types of requests from external companies and investors is a frequent activity for the Corporation. Each year, the SSMEDC works with dozens of businesses and entrepreneurs. In many cases, the company or investor sets up a firm in Sault Ste. Marie. In some cases, they do not. So is the nature of economic development.