Jack Frost Winterfest shoots up hotel bookings by 45 per cent
Hotels in Charlottetown are bound to witness lots of activity this weekend, all thanks to the Jack Frost Winterfest scheduled for February 16-18.
Hotel bookings for this year's festival rose by 45% and general manager of the Holman Grand Hotel and chairman of the annual winter festival, John Cudmore, said that hotel bookings are on course to reach 950 sold rooms for that weekend.
“We like to get as many hotel rooms sold as we can in February and this year we’re pacing to be up 950 hotel rooms sold that weekend, which is nice,’’ said Cudmore on Thursday at a news conference in Charlottetown to announce details of the festival.
“I’d like to think with some good promotion we’ll get it up over 1,000.’’
In 2016, the festival had about 7,000 people in attendance and 35% of them came from outside the Island.
The festival attendance growth rate comes as surprise and Charlottetown Mayor, Clifford Lee, remarked that at the festival's inception in 2005; no one predicted it would attain its current level.
“It was originally supposed to be a small family event but has grown into one of the biggest economic generators, certainly of the winter season,’’ said Lee.
Event producer, Tracey Singleton, noted that four-can-dine menus for $49.99 or $54.99 would be on offer at nine Charlottetown restaurants. Also, there'd be an all-new after dark program. Cudmore also added that it was important that everyone attended the winter festival.
“In the hotel business, in the wintertime, all those events are important. The sporting events, we don’t have those every weekend in P.E.I. and, plus, this is something that just adds vibrancy to the city and gets people out and around and makes for a fun weekend,” he said.
According to Cudmore, the Jack Frost Winterfest may never attain the heights of the legendary Quebec City winter carnival, but more effort should be put in every year to ensuring Charlottetown improves.
“I see how it livens up their city,’’ he said, referring to Quebec City, “and we’re just trying to take this from an event on the (Charlottetown) Event Grounds to an event that the whole city kind of wakes up and enjoys.”