Ottawa spending $1.3M on 13 tourism projects in central P.E.I.

·3 min read
The federal government announced it will give $1.3 million to local tourism companies so they can fund 13 different projects in the region.  (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
The federal government announced it will give $1.3 million to local tourism companies so they can fund 13 different projects in the region. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

The federal government is spending almost $1.3 million to support the tourism sector in central P.E.I.

The government announced it will give the money to local tourism operators for 13 projects in the region.

The money is part of the Tourism Relief Fund, which was set up to help the sector adapt to COVID-19.

"We can't replace the lost the significant lost revenue over the last two years. When it's gone, it's gone," said Fairways Cottages owner Sandi Lowther, which got $100,000 through the fund.

"What these funding programs are doing for our industry is allowing us to reinvest in the product, to be creative and to be innovative… For us, it's about extending the season, moving from a seasonal operation to a full 12-month operation."

Lowther said her company will use the money to winterize three units and expand some of its offerings during off-peak seasons.

"We invested in new deep water wells, insulation, new decking, new porches so that we can offer this product in the dead of the winter," she said.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

"We purchased the coolest, neatest, two-person Canadian custom-made cedar outdoor hot tubs ... We're investing in a pickleball court to improve the offering on the property during the shoulder season before the snow. And then we're going to take this base, this new paved area, and turn it into a outdoor skating rink."

Lowther said she expects to invest about a quarter of a million dollars in the project, including the $100,000.

She said she would probably wouldn't have made those investments if she didn't have the government support.

'Exciting time'

The 13 projects range from establishing new attractions to renovating or modernizing old accommodations.

Most of the money is non-repayable, the only exception being $500,000 given to Sandspit Entertainment to create new rides and update existing offerings.

Matthew Jelley is the president of Maritime Fun Group, which owns Sandspit amusement park. Jelley said the company plans to use the money for three projects at its Cavendish properties.

"One is a new attraction that we're bringing to the Mariner's Cove Boardwalk this year, and the second project will be actually [a] new ride that we are going to install at Sandspit, which will be most likely for the start of the 2023 season," he said.

"[Finally], one of our existing attractions at Mariner's Cove Boardwalk is going to undergo a significant, I guess revitalization or renovation for the 2023 season."

Jelley said Maritime Fun will make announcements about the new attractions in the coming days. The company will be gearing up for construction early next month.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"It's certainly an exciting time," Jelley said. "After a difficult couple of years, you know, we do appreciate the loan assistance and are glad we're in a position to keep investing and to keep moving tourism ahead."

The other 11 projects being funded in central P.E.I. are as follows:

  • The Graham Inn, $100,000 non-repayable

  • Borden/Summerside KOA, $100,000 non-repayable

  • CNG Country Cabins, $100,000 non-repayable

  • Cavendish Maples Inc., $100,000 non-repayable

  • Storybook Adventures and Nature Retreat Inc., $100,000 non-repayable

  • DBA Cavendish Bosom Buddies Cottages and Suites, $64,250 non-repayable

  • Brackley Drive-In Theatre, $55,000 non-repayable

  • Red Rock Retreat Campground and Cottages, $43,000 non-repayable

  • Treetop Haven Inc., $21,462 non-repayable

  • The Pines Motel and Cottages Ltd., $8,960 non-repayable

  • The Good Cottages Inc., $3,926 non-repayable

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