FORT ERIE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM CORPORATION RESTRUCTURES
May 22, 2002 – Mayor Wayne Redekop on behalf of the Council for the Town of Fort Erie today expressed his confidence in the restructuring of the Economic Development & Tourism Corporation (EDTC). ”The goal of the Corporation is to attract and develop business. The Board’s restructuring will go a long way toward fulfilling that goal."
The EDTC has reduced its Board complement from fourteen to five and reduced the number of meeting times. “Board and committee members are buoyed by the fact that they will be engaged in more focused development projects,” said Herb McGirr, EDTC Board Chairperson. “I’m very pleased with this renewed direction because everyone’s time and energy will be wisely resourced. We can already see how this synergy will translate into development gains for the Town.”
Fort Erie’s commercial development in 2002 will rival that of municipalities six and seven times larger than the Town. Jim Thibert, EDTC General Manager, explained “This has to do with the availability of our developable lands, proximity to the US and extraordinary market reach to 9.5 million people within three hours of us.”
The EDTC and the Town’s Community Planning & Development Services Department has succeeded in filling 332,888 square feet of commercial space in the past year. Developments underway include the Garden Market IGA, Loblaws and Wal-Mart. In addition to new development, the EDTC will step up its efforts targeting local business expansion and retention. “Our recent work in assisting Rich’s Products, for example,” explained Herb McGirr, “is exactly what the EDTC should continue to do since 85% of new small business comes from within.” In addition to this strategic direction, the EDTC will focus on specific industrial, commercial, institutional and tourism initiatives.
As guest speaker at the Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting (AGM), Jim Thibert concluded “We are being absolutely strategic. There’s no doubt about it. The Board’s judgement and my 20 years of experience tell me that this is the most effective way to manage an organization. The EDTC is primed to promote a community in the North American marketplace with as many assets as Fort Erie.”
Fort Erie has a base population of 29,000 people, in addition to 9,000 daily gaming visitors and 10,000 seasonal residents. Commercial trade traffic crossing the Peace Bridge totals $20.8 billion annually
Mr. Jim Thibert
Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Corporation