Good news for local economy with Hastings Bridge re-opening early
Trent Hills, Ontario –Last week Parks Canada announced that the Hastings swing bridge is to re-open on April 29, 2016 following a 17-week closure to replace the bridge. “This is great news for the Village of Hastings and greater Trent Hills area. The announcement that the bridge is opening three weeks early will be a terrific boost to the local economy that has been greatly affected by the bridge closure,” said Jeff Hamilton, Chair of the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce.
Tourism is a key economic driver in Trent Hills and Hastings is an integral part, located at the mouth of Rice Lake on the Trent-Severn Waterway. “The early opening will address concerns we had that there may be impacts to the busy tourist season that kicks off on the Victoria Day holiday,” said Mr. Hamilton. “Based on our experience from past traffic disruptions in Trent Hills, it takes time for traffic patterns to return to normal. We have almost a month to spread the news that Hastings is open for business.”
“It’s important to recognize the vital work that the Hastings Helpers and Municipality of Trent Hills have contributed,” added Mr. Hamilton. “They have addressed many of the issues facing the community members in their efforts to mitigate the impact of the closure. The community has done an excellent job of pulling together to support one another.”
“In our role as the Voice of Business, we have taken steps to support one of our business communities that has experienced significant challenges this past winter,” said Mr. Hamilton. “We are now appealing to the public to lend their support to these businesses in the weeks and months ahead.” The Chamber recently launched a contest, The Trent Hills Un4gettable Trivia Contest with more than $2,000 in prizes, to increase consumer visits to the businesses in Hastings during the final weeks of the closure. The contest period runs until May 17 and with the early bridge opening there will be almost three weeks where contest entrants will have full access to the businesses.
“We are extremely pleased that the early bridge re-opening will allow contestants to participate in the contest and not have to deal with detours,” said Mr. Hamilton. The contest is similar to a Scavenger Hunt with answers to Trent Hills tourism trivia questions available at fourteen different businesses in Hastings. Contest prizes, entry forms and rules are available at www.trenthillschamber.ca or by calling the Chamber at 705-653-1551.
“The population west of Hastings represents a large consumer base for many of our businesses in Trent Hills and it’s important to note that businesses in both Campbellford and Warkworth have been affected by the closure as well,” added Mr. Hamilton. “While the Chamber contest focuses specifically on the impacts to the Hastings businesses, we will be utilizing other promotional tactics to attract consumers to all of Trent Hills.”
The Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with staff support that provides benefits and services to the business communities of Trent Hills – Campbellford, Warkworth and Hastings – and delivers tourism services on behalf of the Municipality of Trent Hills, operates the Old Mill Park Docking facility, Trent Hills Visitor Centre and ServiceOntario office.
Nancy Allanson, Executive Director, Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce