Kawartha Region, Sarah Frank
PETERBOROUGH — Peterborough could stand to lose millions in economic spinoff if wind turbines throw a permanent wrench into plans to build a Buddhist complex near Bethany. According to a cost-benefit analysis put together by Peterborough Economic Development, the series of temples and their meditation retreat centres would be the largest Buddhist complex outside China, and could draw roughly 45,000 visitors per year.
While the temples will be free to visit, the agency estimates they could generate more than $20 million for Ontario’s economy, when considering the cost visitors will pay to eat, sleep and take in other attractions in the area.
It’s a conservative estimate, says Fiona Dawson, director of tourism for Peterborough Economic Development, who says the agency didn’t hire a consultant to do the report. Instead, it plugged numbers into a widely-used economic impact model to get a general sense of the temple’s impact on the economy. Looking beyond the project’s immediate impact on tourism, Ms. Dawson says the temple project offers significant potential. Read article