|Attendance Up at FWHP|
Attendance figures are up at Fort William Historical Park. The historic attraction is enjoying an 85% increase in attendance compared to the similar timeframe last year.
General Manager Sergio Buonocore attributes the increase to a combination of offerings that in some ways anticipated the province's "Staycation" theme, focusing primarily on local markets with an aggressive festival line-up and a new marketplace initiative, as well as an ambitious billboard campaign and U.S. sales stemming from the Fort's new Canada Gateway Centre the opened in Grand Marais, Minnesota in May.
The Fort's new ‘sell and swap' Marketplace has been a modest surprise. Offered weekly on Sundays, the Marketplace provides opportunities for local vendors to sell a wide spectrum of items from clothing to vintage household items to energy conservation goods to outdoor recreation equipment. Situated adjacent to the Visitor Centre by the Fort's amphitheatre, the Marketplace also features live entertainment, children's activities and food vendors. The Marketplace has had a positive spin-off effect, enticing local patrons to visit the heritage site.
FWHP has also realized success with another new packaged offering, music concerts twinned with overnight camping. Introduced during the new two-day "Country Fest" festival in June, the camping offering virtually sold out, with dozens of spots occupied by RVs and tent campsites situated in the amphitheatre. This additional component enabled the festival to reach the 5,000 attendance mark.
Other events including Canada Day celebrations and the Great Rendezvous in July have also done very well, overcoming unsettled weather that seems to be omnipresent across the country this summer, attracting both local and regional visitation.
FWHP is now directing its energies towards another concert with the upcoming two-day "Retrofest" July 24th and 25th, featuring music from the 50s and 60s, featuring Chubby Checker, the Platters, the Marvelettes, Bill Haley's Comets, Doug and the Slugs and tributes to Garth Brooks and Jimmy Buffett. "Retrofest" will be followed by a major heritage event, "The Fort under Siege," re-creating the infamous armed takeover of Fort William by Lord Selkirk of the Hudson's Bay Company and his mercenary force.
Fort William Historical Park
1350 King Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Emergency After Hours: 807-473-9750
Event Hotline: 807-473-2333
Administration Fax: (807) 473-2327
General Manager Fax: (807) 473-2336
Admissions Fax: (807) 473-2312