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Rotary International

Third Time Successful

"Allan Laakkonen"

Allan Laakkonen is the tenacious school teacher/alderman in Thunder Bay who headed up the civic committee that wanted to bring the Nordic World Ski Championships to Thunder Bay. In 1985 they made their first bid in Vancouver, and lost. In 1988 they travelled to Istanbul to bid again, and lost. In May, 1990 they travelled to Montreaux, Switzerland-bid again, and won! In 1995 the world's attention will centre on Canada for two big weeks as Thunder Bay hosts the Nordic World Championships. Allan Laakkanen headed up all three bid attempts. I asked Allen what advice does he have for other communities bidding for major events?

"I would say that they have to be patient. Depending on what level of bid they're going for. Canadian or international, they are going to have to be tenacious. They have to put a group together that's committed to their bid. And most important, they must have a strategy."

All of his committee members work will payoff in big dollars for the region in 1995. "It's estimated that a minimum of38 million new dollars will come into the area. Other figures we have heard go as high as 60 million new dollars. So it's quite an impact and keep in mind, it's new money. Not recirculating old money. ',

That certainly makes bidding on events well worth the effort.

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