Fort McMurray companies ramping up for Arctic Winter Video games

Fort McMurray companies ramping up for Arctic Winter Video games

The 2023 Arctic Winter Video games are just some days away and companies in Fort McMurray are getting ready for an inflow of athletes, coaches and spectators.

The video games are scheduled to start on Sunday in Wooden Buffalo, and wrap up on Feb. 4.

Noeme Kopecky, supervisor of Yogen Fruz, stated she’s been bringing in further employees and stuffing her freezers and fridges to try to put together for the occasion. For the week of the video games, Kopecky has tripled her meals orders.

“Hopefully it is sufficient,” Kopecky stated. “We do not even have house to retailer it.” 

Her retailer is situated inside MacDonald Island Park, the place lots of the video games might be performed. 

She stated the shop is short-staffed, however she’s requested her staff to do just a few further shifts over the video games. She’ll have about double the everyday variety of employees over the video games.

“We don’t know what to anticipate,” Kopecky stated. 

A woman stands in the kitchen of Yogen Fruz.
Noeme Kopecky is struggling to seek out house for the entire product she ordered in anticipation of the video games. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Kopecky stated it is useful to have an occasion like this locally after the enterprise was closed on and off for 2 years. 

Dianna de Sousa, govt director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, stated the occasion can have a optimistic impression on many companies locally, together with eating places, accommodations and the airport. 

“When individuals go to they stroll round, they neglect issues… so it is also good for retail,” she stated. “It is also good to showcase our services.” 

She stated it is a good increase for companies popping out of the pandemic. 

“It is a chance for our group to be spoken of otherwise, fairly than all the time in regards to the oilsands,” de Sousa stated. 

Firas Farhad, proprietor of Cora Breakfast and Lunch in Fort McMurray, stated he is introduced in numerous further staff for the video games, together with three kitchen employees, two hosts and three servers. 

“We’re going to be well-prepared for the inflow of individuals coming in,” Farhad stated. 

A middle-aged man sits in a Cora restaurant. There are colourful signs on the wall advertising the restaurant's food.
Firas Farhad has been getting ready for the video games by bringing on further employees and ordering extra meals. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Sometimes in a month, he spends about $10,000 on meals for the restaurant, and he ordered an additional $5,000 to arrange for the video games. 

“You by no means actually know what to anticipate by way of the visitors,” Farhad stated. 

However even with the unknown, Farhad already has two afternoons totally booked. He’ll be closing the restaurant an hour early at the very least twice, as groups booked out your complete restaurant.

“If we are able to have it [AWG] yearly, I would have it yearly,” Farhad stated. “However we take what we are able to get and I am glad it is really this 12 months particularly with the final couple of years with COVID taking place and shutdowns.” 

Abdi Mursal, proprietor of native rideshare firm YMM Rider, is already seeing bookings for his shuttles. The enterprise has a couple of dozen drivers, and Mursal is making an attempt to extend that quantity for the AWG. 

Greater than a dozen individuals have already pre-booked shuttles and rides for journeys to and from the airport and social gatherings after the video games, Mursal stated. 

“We’re pushing to have as many drivers as we are able to,” Mursal stated. 

He stated the video games are serving to improve consciousness of his enterprise and are serving to promote Fort McMurray. 

When persons are calling him to guide rides, many are asking for solutions for native eateries or issues to do of their spare time. Mursal has been sharing a listing of eating places and telling individuals to strive the Oil Sands Discovery Centre or exit to see Syncrude’s Giants of Mining. 

A man poses for a profile photo in an office building.
Abdi Mursal is making an attempt to deliver on further drivers. Individuals have already began reserving up shuttles in anticipation of the video games. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

“I believe it should deliver a number of financial prospect,” Mursal stated. 

The video games additionally present people who the area is not “all in regards to the oilsands. There’s much more to do.” 


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