A strategic focus of Destination Greater Victoria in recent years is to support events that bring visitors to our community, as well as events that are popular with the community at large. For example, this past December and January Greater Victoria had the honour of co-hosting the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Fans came from all over the world to cheer on their team, but many tickets were sold to Greater Victoria residents that proudly and loudly supported their team as well.
Summer is the traditional tourism high season in Greater Victoria, and as a result there are more events around town. And for the first time in three years, Northwest Deuce Days returned to Greater Victoria. Northwest Deuce Days began in 1998. It attracts classic car owners from across North America and around the world. Spectators have the unique opportunity to view almost 1,400 spectacular pre-1952 collector vehicles. Northwest Deuce Days is also the largest gathering of “Deuces” in the world – welcoming a record of over 600 Deuces this year. A Deuce is a hot rod produced in 1932, which enthusiasts simply call a Deuce after the “2” in 1932; the 1932 Ford being the most popular and recognizable Deuce. This year, Destination Greater Victoria also deepened its partnership through sponsorship and operational support of Northwest Deuce Days.
Deuce Days took place from July 18-21. It was amazing to see Belleville St. along the Inner Harbour teeming with smiling people enthusiastic about these classic cars. The car owners filled our hotels, restaurants and attractions. But many of those that came out to view the cars, take photos and ask owners questions about their classic cars – were residents. Northwest Deuce Days was not just a tourism event, but a community event as well. Our organization wants a visitor economy strongly supported by residents. The visitor economy supports over 22,000 jobs and has an economic impact of $2.3B annually in Greater Victoria. But if the benefits of the visitor economy do not accrue to the community, it is at risk of losing the support it enjoys. Our focus will continue to be on events like Northwest Deuce Days – events that bring visitor spending and the community together.
Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria