CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Jack Frost Winterfest promises to be a busy weekend for hotels in Charlottetown.
John Cudmore, general manager of the Holman Grand Hotel and chairman of the annual winter festival, said hotel bookings are on pace to hit 950 rooms sold for that weekend.
“We like to get as many hotel rooms sold as we can in February and this year we’re pacing to be up 950 hotel rooms sold that weekend, which is nice,’’ Cudmore said following a news conference in Charlottetown Thursday to announce details of the festival.
“I’d like to think with some good promotion we’ll get it up over 1,000.’’
Last year’s festival attracted 7,000 people, 35 per cent of whomd came from off-Island. Hotel bookings for this year are up 45 per cent from 2017.
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee remarked that when the festival was created in 2005 no one had any idea it would grow into what it has.
“It was originally supposed to be a small family event but has grown into one of the biggest economic generators, certainly of the winter season,’’ Lee said.
Tracey Singleton, event producer, highlights that nine restaurants in Charlottetown will offer four-can-dine menus for $49.99 or $54.99 and an all-new after dark program.
Cudmore said it’s good to get everyone involved in the winter festival.
“In the hotel business, in the wintertime, all those events are important. The sporting events, we don’t have those every weekend in P.E.I. and, plus, this is something that just adds vibrancy to the city and gets people out and around and makes for a fun weekend.’’
Cudmore said Jack Frost may never reach the scale of what goes on with the legendary Quebec City winter carnival but every year the effort must be about making the Charlottetown the best it can be.
“I see how it livens up their city,’’ he said, referring to Quebec City, “and we’re just trying to take this from an event on the (Charlottetown) Event Grounds to an event that the whole city kind of wakes up and enjoys.’’