Q & A with Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
Kris Racine was an integral part of the bidding, planning and execution of the 2016 CARHA Hockey World Cup. Recently we were able to ask him some quesitons about his experiences. His answers are below.
Q: What were your initial expectations when Windsor was announced as the Host City for the 2016 CARHA Hockey World Cup?
A: I was extremely excited knowing we won the bid to host the 2016 CARHA Hockey World Cup. I knew it would be great for the city and the region and would be really good on a resume when going after other large events. Once we got into the planning stage, I must admit I did not realize how actually big the event was. Meaning once we got into details about the event with the CARHA committee it was a bit overwhelming knowing all the little things that goes into an event of this magnitude.
Q: Can you share one or two positive experiences that you had while working with the CARHA Hockey Organizing Committee?
A: Working with the CARHA Hockey World Cup Organizing Committee was very positive. I found all the staff to be very professional during the whole process. We worked primarily with Lori Lopez and Reuben Greenspoon especially leading into the event. Not only did we communicate all the time by phone and email but they came down for meetings quite frequently to visit and connect. This open dialogue was essential for the product that was delivered when the event began. We all worked well together and became a team. I can honestly say that even after the event both Lori and Reuben are good friends and would welcome the opportunity to work with them again.
Q: Are you able to speak about the impact that the event had on members of the Windsor-Essex community as well as local businesses?
A: Without giving an economic number, all I can say is wow! Our hotels, restaurants and bars in downtown Windsor were hopping. It was great to see players from different countries all over the world wearing their jerseys in the local establishments. Our local businesses loved the event and were very happy with the results. They saw exponential increase in activity and enjoyed the players from all over the world. It was definitely a more than worthwhile experience.
Q: Personally, what were some of your favourite memories of the 2016 CARHA Hockey World Cup?
A: This is a 2-part answer. Firstly, working and planning the event for 3+ years and finally seeing it come to fruition was very gratifying for me. Seeing it all come together after the endless hours of preparation was certainly great to see. To see the committee rise above it all and to hear the positive comments from the athletes during and after the event was very special. To hear that people would come back to our great region was rewarding because that meant we did our job and did it well! Besides the organizational side of the event I was also able to play as a participant. A bunch of local guys got together and played for the first time which was also pretty cool. I met some great guys but also got to play teams from the Sault, Finland and even Sweden! How special is that? To be able to have a beer after the game with someone from another country after a hard fought game was so memorable for me. Hockey is indeed a global sport!!! Our local team had such a good time that we are honestly looking at participating in the next CARHA World Cup in 2020 no matter where it is. I know a lot of teams and players feel the same way as I do and just love this tournament.
Q: What would you say to a city that is thinking of putting in a bid to host the 2020 CARHA Hockey World Cup?
A: I would say go for it! It is definitely worth the investment. It is a great event for your community to engage in. They get to see some great hockey and meet people from all over the world. Your local businesses, hotels, restaurants, bars and night clubs will be busy. The players like to have a good time and spend their money! They are there with their teammates to play hockey but to also explore the city and surrounding communities within it. It also a great tournament in terms of legacy. This tournament can leave a footprint in your community for years!
Thank you to Kris for taking the time to speak with us. We appreciate your continued support of the CARHA Hockey World Cup!