Friday, May 22nd23.3°C
24963
24291

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

26361


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15202.36-1.25
S&P CDNX701.07+0.56
DJIA18268.59-17.15
Nasdaq5097.58+6.79
S&P 5002130.21-0.61
CDN Dollar0.8129-0.0065
Gold1205.70+1.30
Oil57.45-1.98
Lumber273.30+3.70
Natural Gas2.891-0.058

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.14+0.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.46+0.01
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.397+0.025
Metalex Ventures0.09+0.01
Russel Metals25.76-0.06
Copper Mountain Mining1.37-0.04
Colorado Resources0.105+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0048-0.0049
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.20+0.60

 



24947

FEATURED Property
1761161959 Regal Road
5 bedrooms 6 baths
$1,495,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...


Squaring the circle

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have been reading about market segmentation and choice. Howard Moskowitz’s research into tomato sauce as retold by Malcom Gladwell on the TED talks (http://www.ted.com/tal...

_



25482

26112


Member of BC Press Council


25690