Friday, April 17th14.1°C
25631

Shania Twain centre attracts debt

A tourist attraction celebrating country-pop singer Shania Twain has officially become a $10-million money pit of taxpayer dollars.

The Shania Twain Centre in this northern Ontario community permanently closes its doors today, barely a dozen years after its grand opening, and will be demolished to become part of an open-pit gold mine.

A sinkhole of taxpayer money, the centre consumed some $10 million in government funds for its construction in 2000-2001, and racked up more than $1 million in operating deficits in the years since.

Grant applications to the Ontario and federal governments in the 1990s projected annual attendance of 50,000 tourists by 2005.

Twain, now 47, grew up poor in Timmins, and got her fledgling start singing in local bars before striking it rich on the world stage in 1995.

But the sleek, modern structure, featuring displays of Twain memorabilia along with gold-mining artifacts, has drawn no more than 15,000 people in any year.

In the end, every resident of this hardscrabble, century-old mining town of 47,000 was shelling out $7 a year just to keep the lights on. And by 2010, each visitor to the centre was being subsidized to the tune of $33.72.

"We probably should have taken a better look at the numbers to ensure the expectations could be met," Mayor Tom Laughren said of the planning that happened long before he took office.

A 2011 financial analysis showed that Timmins city council faced continuing operating deficits of at least $233,000 a year no matter what future business plan it chose, whether expansion or scaling back.

So council last month announced a deal to sell the property to mining firm Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) for $5 million, just half of the tax dollars spent for construction.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24200


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15360.55-26.22
S&P CDNX702.85-2.74
DJIA17826.30-279.47
Nasdaq4931.81-75.98
S&P 5002081.18-23.81
CDN Dollar0.8169-0.0001
Gold1204.10+6.10
Oil56.14-0.57
Lumber245.50-9.80
Natural Gas2.641-0.043

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.40-0.01
Cantex0.035+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.33+0.02
Metalex Ventures0.075+0.030
Russel Metals27.48-0.23
Copper Mountain Mining1.13+0.01
Colorado Resources0.10-0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.005+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.15

 



24910

FEATURED Property
2238002745 Harvey Avenue
6 bedrooms 2 baths
$474,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Calling on your help!

Has the internet flattened prices as predicted? Has the internet created opportunities for your business to find higher priced markets further afield? Is posting prices on your website a good thing o...


Living with Plan B

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit Photo: Thinkstock.comHuman beings are optimists by nature. Whether...


Reverse mortgage solution

With the housing and financial markets on solid footing, some retired Canadians may consider cashing in their growing assets to enjoy vacations and major home renovations. Others, on the other hand, a...

_



25922

25221


Member of BC Press Council


25541