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RFD- 2969 Business Items   Item #   11. b.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 03/27/2017  
Title:    Tour of Alberta - Wolanski
Department: Community & Protective Services  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Raise a Family - A leading recreation, leisure and sports community Related Goal: Spruce Grove is known as an event hosting destination.

Request for Decision Summary
The City has been approached by the Tour of Alberta to host a start/finish stage for 2017.  Administration has examined the proposal and is making a recommendation to proceed with entering into an agreement.

Proposed Motion
 That the City of Spruce enter into an agreement with the Tour of Alberta to host a 2017 start/finish stage and approve event expenses not to exceed $110,000.

The City hosted the Tour of Alberta (TOA) in 2015 and although the finish was less than desirable the City did a fantastic job in hosting a finishing stage.  We were approached again in 2016; however, an analysis of the cost/benefits and return on investment did not warrant further participation.  Additionally, the significance of staff time in an already busy year would have been too challenging. 
The Tour of Alberta has changed their format to a “hub and spoke” concept following similar tours across the world.  The idea is that the event can be staged in and around a major centre (hub) and then go out to the surrounding communities (spokes).  This allows for great efficiencies and being able to go to other areas that they could not normally include.  The TOA would like to begin this concept in and around the Capital Region for 2017.
TOA officials approached the City recently to ask if we would like to be included for 2017.  The concept would call for a circuit route in and out of the City several times which has far greater appeal and excitement for the fans.  This is essentially a start and finish in the City.

Due to the nature of the proposal, administration felt it was potentially too important to not at least explore the possibility.  As Council is aware, there are several significant events already taking place this year including, but not limited to, an enhanced Canada Day, Freedom of the City (although tentative at this point), census, and an election that draws significantly on the resources of the City.
Quite frankly, the City cannot take on the TOA in the same manner that we did in 2015.  There is simply no capacity to do so.  With some adjustments, we believe that it is possible if the right discussions are favorable with TOA.  Although administration cannot pinpoint exactly what some possible trade-offs may be due to the timing of the request and need for a decision, it must be communicated that there may be some things that get delayed or altered if the City were to proceed.  Understanding from Council at a later date would be required once some of those things come to light.
Administration met and corresponded several times with the TOA.  The main discussions centered around how to minimize the impact on City personnel based on concerns from both administration and Council. 
Some of the assurances that the City has received from the TOA and others include:
  • Route confirmation as soon as possible with no major changes/impact to our existing road improvement work plan.  Most likely through Spruce Grove and Parkland County.
  • While it would be a “City event” it would be treated as more of a community initiated event whereby the majority of work would be led by community members/champions.  City Centre Business Association has endorsed exploring the hosting of the festival and combining it with one of their planned markets.
  • A change in some of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) requirements (i.e. no need for community outreach).
  • Adhering to timelines as much as possible.  Any impact on City resources as a result of missed deadlines will be dealt with by the TOA.
  • Being able to utilize and tap into a larger LOC for the region.
  • A communications plan will be developed that will feature the majority of work completed by the TOA or other committee members.  The City’s anticipated role will be to disseminate, advise, and approve certain aspects of the plan vs. the majority of work.  Marketing will be mainly completed by the TOA.
  • TOA will ultimately act as the “safety net” if things don’t go according to plan vs. City personnel being responsible.
No additional options or alternatives other than to proceed or not to proceed.
If approved to go forward, administration would work with the TOA on finalizing details and talk formally with municipal partners to gauge their interest.  We would also work on finalizing, as soon as possible, the LOC and those who can lead such a group.  A larger regional LOC would also be formed and collaboration with Capital Region partners and other host communities would begin.
If approved, administration would communicate as much to TOA and start securing interest and commitment from stakeholders. Spruce Grove would obviously be announced as a host by the TOA when they have solidified other host cities.
There would be an impact on City staff in an already busy year; however, it is being recommended under the conditions that have been discussed including the potential need for additional contracted help in a variety of departments in order to manage their workload.   
There may be some negative attention brought up in regards to the poor finish last time.
Obvious impacts on citizen restrictions during the tour (i.e. road closures) but are offset (to some) by the benefits of hosting a world class event.
Similar TV exposure as previous and potentially even more as most of the focus for the entire stage will be on Spruce Grove. 

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
The City spent $220,000 in 2015 and collected $70,000 in revenue (including $60,000 from our regional partners) for a net cost of $150,000.  This included an entrance fee for a stage finish of $150,000. 
In examining the proposal by the TOA, the previous budget, and to take pressure off staff the only way to be able to work on the event is to bring in additional contract help either for the event itself or to take on existing work and free staff up for the TOA.  Estimates for costs related to contract help, communications/advertising, policing/security, festival, etc. would be in a range of $90,000-$110,000.  We are not sure if financial contributions could be secured from our municipal partners; therefore, for the purposes of estimating we’ve only included approximately $10,000 in sponsorship revenue leaving a net cost estimated range from $80,000-$100,000.  As this is not budget and ultimately is a Corporate Plan amendment for 2017, the money would be allocated from surplus.
No file(s) attached.

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