Manitouwadge hopes to grow with ATV jamboree
Have ATV - will travel
Organizers of a popular ATV event in Manitouwadge hope to attract more people to the second annual ATV Jamboree.
The event, which is essentially a poker run on ATVs, attracted about 75 riders last year. Organizers hope for at least 100 this year.
"Everybody has fish derbies and other things, we wanted to be a little unique," said Kevin Turner, one of the organizers. He also operates Turner's Outdoor Adventures, a local outfitting business.
Turner, along with Manitouwadge's economic development commission hope the ride will attract new people to the community, that may want to stay long-term.
"Our bylaws permit the bikes to drive on all the streets in town, except for one. But, for retired people to come in they can get gas, or grab a coffee, or head out for a ride, or just putt around town. It's kinda nice."
Bring new people to town
"Our biggest issue is how do we bring them off that highway. 54 kilometres is a long way to go, if you don't know what you're coming into town for," said Karen Robinson, Manitouwadge's economic development assistant.
"So, this ATV event, we've been advertising outside our town, hoping that we can bring people down that highway."
Robinson said it's a challenge to help re-develop Manitouwadge, which lost its primary industry in 2005 when the nearby Golden Giant Mine shut down.
A company helped sell the houses in town that were owned by the mine, but now, many are once again for sale as retirees that moved to the community at the end of Highway 614 a decade ago, are now leaving.
"We have houses to sell, we have all kinds of things that people aren't aware are here. I think our play in the extreme has always been very popular as far as the canoeing, and the falls, we have beautiful falls to look at. We have other stuff that they don't know is here."
The Manitouwadge ATV Jamboree takes place on July 16. Interested riders can find more information here.