The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be a game changer for Prince George and northern B.C., said the host society, and they have less than 765 days to get prepared.
During Monday night's council meeting, members of the group presented an overview of their business plan - the first host society to do so publicly.
"We made a commitment to be really good in stakeholder engagement," said society CEO Stuart Ballantyne.
Following the 2015 Games, it will be another 26 years before the event is held in the province again, so the Prince George group is looking to make a true impression.
Coun. Albert Koehler asked if the group was on track with where they should be in terms of raising the necessary funds.
"We're quite confident in the plan," said Ballantyne, but acknowledged that the society "would like to be further ahead."
The Games has a total budget of more than $46.5 million, with more than $19 million in capital expenses and $27.5 million in operating expenses. The society still has to raise nearly $12 million through the private sector and sponsorships, as well as ticket and merchandise revenue.
According to Ballantyne, history of previous Games has shown that ticket sales generate well over $1 million. And while the 2015 Games has lost boxing as a draw, it has gained trampoline gymnastics. And given Canada's gold-medal showing at the London Olympics in the sport, it should be a significant draw.
In light of an earlier presentation from local teachers about child poverty, Coun. Dave Wilbur expressed concern over the Games being accessible for all families who wish to attend.
"I'm wondering if you've built in a scenario where some families who can't afford it, can be given a help in order to participate in what is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?" he asked.
Ballantyne said there are a number of ways to tackle those issues that also tie in to the organizers' desire to have full venues for the events.
"I don't want to sit there and operate a figure skating event and I don't have the facility full," the CEO said, noting there are preliminary rounds where there could be opportunities to get corporate partners to sponsor tickets. "This is part of us being able to say 'yes we want to make the money,' but we also want to make sure these venues are full for those athletes."
With the inclusion of three paralympic sports - wheelchair basketball, para-alpine skiing and para-nordic skiing - local disability groups will also be engaged, organizers affirmed, to ensure the city is accessible in the winter conditions.