Quiet concert schedule troubles Moncton hotel operators

The president of the Greater Moncton Hotel Association is worried about the lack of summer concerts in the city.

For second straight summer, big name acts are bypassing Magnetic Hill concert site

The president of the Greater Moncton Hotel Association is worried about the lack of summer concerts in the city.

This will be the second straight summer without a major show at Magnetic Hill and the hotel association believes that is having consequences for the local economy.

U2 wrapped up its 360 world tour at Magnetic Hill in 2011. (CBC)
In previous years, the Magnetic Hill concert site has staged performances by the Rolling Stones, U2, the Eagles, AC/DC, and Bruce Springsteen, among others.

But last year, Rush and Sting bypassed Magnetic Hill in favour of Halifax and Prince Edward Island. This summer, Shania Twain is going to PEI.

Delta Beausejour manager Ray Roberge, who heads the hotel association, says hotel owners are concerned by that trend.

"I look at it in the sense that it's missed opportunities for Moncton and those are concerts and events that would fit perfectly within this marketplace," said Roberge.

The City of Moncton has refused to make public the financial details involving the big name acts to play Magnetic Hill.

Roberge said he understands the city's financial concerns, but he says the lack of major events is hurting hotels and the local economy.

"Perhaps in the beginning, we were very — we being the city — were very generous in helping to bring some of these concerts," said Roberge. "I think perhaps the pendulum may have been swung a little too much to the other side."

Roberge says the Rolling Stones concert in 2005 gave Moncton international exposure and investors responded by building hotels.

"I can tell you there's eight new hotels in the marketplace," he said. "Essentially, we've doubled the inventory of rooms since 2005."

There are now 22,000 hotel rooms in Moncton which could potentially produce $50 million in revenue annually.

Roberge says for every dollar spent on a hotel room, $4 are spent in stores, restaurants or tourist attractions in the area.

But Roberge says it's getting harder to fill those rooms.

"The demand is not keeping up with the supply in Moncton in terms of rooms and the room rates are very low," he said.

Meanwhile, the CFL has given up on Moncton after staging a series of games in the city that saw attendance dwindle over the years.

City officials would not comment on the quiet schedule of events for this summer.

The highlight is a series of soccer games as part of the Under-20 Women's World Cup. Teams from England, Mexico and elsewhere will play.


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