With busloads of teams rolling into town for the RBC Cup, along with friends, family and fans in tow, someone had to find the hordes of visitors places to sleep.
That someone was Katlin Ducherer, chair of accommodations and grants for the event, whose job it was to line up the lodgings, which found her booking four hotels for teams and a separate one just for officials.
“All absolutely came and put their best foot forward and all of them are totally prepared to host these teams, going above and beyond what I’ve seen out of Lloydminster hotels in the past,” said Ducherer.
“One of them is including laundry service—we’ve never, in my experience, asked for laundry service for the teams—so it’s going to be new; we’re probably going to have a few hiccups here and there, but the hotels are gung-ho to try it out and see if we can get these teams jerseys, clothes and towels washed everyday.”
The five hotels that stepped up to the task are the Days Hotel and Suites, the Holiday Inn, Microtel, Best Western, and the Royal Hotel.
Some of the establishments had staff hesitant about the laundry deal, but after going through the logistics with Ducherer, are now “gung-ho” about taking on the event.
She said she had meetings with the hotel people last week and they seemed prepared and excited to host teams of such caliber from all over Canada.
“We didn’t see any issues when we did our prep meeting, nothing but excitement really,” Ducherer said.
But her job didn’t stop at finding the Border City guests beds to sleep in, as all that hockey playing will likely work up their appetites as well.
As chair of accommodations she rustled up some restaurant sponsors too, and the teams will be given a per diem for meals they can spend at places of their choosing.
The two major sponsoring establishments are The Sawmill and Boston Pizza, with Arby’s, KFC, Rock Creek Tap and Grill and Taco Time coming in as lower level sponsors.
“So each of the teams will be given an information booklet that contains the locations and contacts for all those restaurants who did sponsor,” said Ducherer.
“We didn’t get as many restaurants as we would have hoped—I don’t know if that’s because the current economy, they just couldn’t do it this year—or if it’s something (where) they don’t realize the amount of business they would get from these teams and their respective friends and family.”
Though she’s not 100 per cent sure why some restaurants declined to get on board, she said she’s really happy with the ones that did and can’t wait to send business their way.
Ducherer also works for Lloydminster Tourism, giving her the opportunity to do similar accommodation work with a number of other events, though the food and beverage aspect is new to her.
She said despite her experience, the RBC Cup is definitely one of the bigger events she’s done and she’s glad to have the chance to work on it.
“It was definitely one we were super happy to get when we were working on the bidding process and Lloydminster is really lucky to have because it will be one for the books, that’s for sure,” she said.
All of these guests coming to town will also bring some revenue with them and Ducherer said the amount of money coming into Lloydminster’s economy should number in the millions.
Part of the funding obligations require her to take the numbers from the budget and the expected amount of visitors and do what’s called a Canadian Sport Tourism and Alliance scheme, which will produce an estimated economic impact.
“Now when Dauphin (Man.) hosted the RBC Cup, they had an estimated economic impact of $2.2 million,” she said.
“So we’re expecting around that mark as well.”