Project Name: Destination Development – Grand Bend

A significant and historic part of Ontario’s beach culture, Grand Bend is a destination that remains in the hearts and minds of many who grew up there and in surrounding feeder cities, from London and Windsor to Kitchener and Guelph. As that population matured and subdivisions for well-heeled retirees developed, so too did the town. While the beach culture remains, Grand Bend has added live theatre, a destination winery and an upscale golf and beach resort. With a view to attracting greater numbers of sophisticated and discerning visitors, the town is methodically transforming the tourism scene. This includes changing product offerings and making it a year-round destination through a lengthened theatre season, an engaged hospitality sector during the shoulder season and a range of activities outside the traditional season.

Background

A provincial theatre cornerstone and one of Canada’s most successful professional theatre companies, Drayton Entertainment has seven unique venues (six in our region), including Grand Bend’s Huron Country Playhouse (I and II).

A locally inspired initiative identified an opportunity to expand tourism through a partnership that would see the season at the Huron Country Playhouse extended in 2018. This pilot project, in partnership with Regional Tourism Organization 1, will capitalize on the opportunity to build a supporting cast within the tourism network to market the season extension and ensure visitors are well-serviced during their visits.

2018/2019 Objectives

OBJECTIVE #1– Build a network of key stakeholders to successfully expand the season in Grand Bend through extended services, activities and entertainment at Huron Country Playhouse.

Key Activities

  • Identify and build network of key stakeholders
  • Strengthen shoulder season offerings and partnerships

For more details on this project, please visit the 2018/2019 RTO4 Business Plan, pages 30-31.