The number of athletes drawn to York County for the Can-Am Police-Fire Games might not have met expectations, but a tourism bureau official said the participation level of the York games is above par compared games held elsewhere.
All told, 631 people registered to compete in the weeklong games geared toward first responders and corrections officials and their families, said Anne Druck, president of York County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
That's above the average of 612 athletes that competed in the past few games, she said.
Officials had previously expected 2,000 people to register to compete in the York games, the first to be held on the East Coast.
"I think that was really an ambitious number," Druck said.
Officials also expected the Olympic-style event to attract $4 million in local tourism spending.
But that number now stands at half that, Druck said.
Tourism: Nonetheless, the games have attracted participants from across much of North America and beyond.
During the games' opening ceremony, William Merrylees, of the London (Ontario) Police Service and CEO/president of Can-Am Games, said athletes also came from Australia, India and Ukraine.
Though the number of participants and the economic impact didn't hold up, Druck said participants are playing tourists and are checking out the area, specifically York City. She said she ran into a participant from Ohio at Central Market who was leaving with a bag full of local goodies.
The games might also have helped York Countydraw other sporting events in the future.
Druck said a tourism bureau official was contacted by sporting events organizers about possibly hosting archery, cycling and billiards events in York after hearing about the success of the Can-Am Games.
"A lot of good as come out of this," she said.