Expanded outdoor facilities would bring visitors to FFPublished 11:16am Thursday, November 1, 2012 Updated 1:19pm Thursday, November 1, 2012
There are many candidates and issues to keep track of this election year. The Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau supports a YES vote for the Fergus Falls high school outdoor facilities referendum. Expanded facilities — especially the track and tennis courts — make Fergus Falls a candidate for hosting conference and section athletic events. The current courts and track are simply too small for us to hold those events here.
Athletic tournaments bring at least five to eight teams from other communities to Fergus Falls. Some teams from farther away would stay overnight here — especially for multi-day events. The team members (plus coaches and often families) usually stay at least one night in our hotels.
They also spend money in our stores and restaurants. This is good for the Fergus Falls economy and our community.
When we host these events in Fergus Falls, that means our students (and parents and coaches) aren’t travelling to other cities for those tournaments. That minimizes spending going out of town to some degree, but saves them money by not having as many away events.
Fergus Falls has already seen increased visitors from the community arena and from the new gymnasiums at Kennedy Secondary School.
There are more youth hockey tournaments — with more teams participating in each tournament. The girls’ high school Holiday Classic hockey tournament is already full and includes Minneapolis schools — which have already booked their hotel stays here.
And the Fergus Falls High School has hosted section wrestling for the past two years with many overnight participants.
The more Fergus Falls is recognized as a community that has expanded and excellent facilities in all sports, the better we fare as a destination. And wouldn’t it be great — the more weekend sporting events we host — the more our community retailers and restaurants would decide it would be good business to be open on the weekends? Let’s keep up the momentum and work together to bring people to Fergus Falls.
Voter be aware: The wording on this item says that voting ‘yes’ means an increase in property tax. Remember though, we are currently paying for a school facility referendum that expires in 2013. The increase is actually less than we are currently paying.
Jean Bowman and
Fergus Falls CVB Board