The Shania Twain Centre was declared
surplus Jan.7 by Timmins City Council, and its sale to Goldcorp was
Marc Lauzier, Porcupine Gold Mines
general manager, said once the deal does go through, Goldcorp plans
to dismantle the structure.
“It makes economic sense for us to
purchase the centre and we have no plans for it,” he said. “That
is where the surface expression of the ore is so that is how we make
our financial justification for the purchase.”
The centre, which also houses the Gold
Mine Tour, was to close at the end of January.
Mayor Tom Laughren said at a council
meeting Jan. 7 that administration was authorized about 18 months ago
to approach Goldcorp about the sale of the centre. A consultant's
report released at that time indicated the centre was operating at a
loss and that attendance at both attractions had been steadily
“These decisions aren't made very
easily,” he said. “As council went through that report, one of
the suggestions was to approach Goldcorp so they knew we were open
due to where it is located in proximity to their berm (and open pit).
There was some interest so we pursued that.”
The sale has been in negotiations since
that time, while council agreed to keep the status quo for the
“That was in case there wasn't an
interest (in the sale), and we still had to operate and look at
alternatives and different things we can do,” said Laughren.
Some new strategies for the tour and
the exhibits are to be presented at a council meeting Jan. 28.
“People will see the commitment we
have to mining and to Shania Twain, but in a different format.”
Last summer, a good portion of the
exhibits were removed from the centre by one of Twain's management
companies. She and the management company had been informed of
“A big part of (Twain's) career has
changed and she is working out of Las Vegas now so she had to support
that. Everything changes as you move forward. It was an opportunity
for that group as well, but she has been very committed to Timmins,”
he said. “We have always had a good relationship with her group and
will continue to have a good working relationship.”
Since opening in June 2001, attendance
at the money-losing centre has steadily declined from a 2002 peak of
8,400 visitors to 2,800 in 2010. In 2002, the nearby gold mine tour
attracted 6,200 visits, but declined 36 per cent to 4,000 in 2010.
According to the report prepared by PKF
Consulting, the combined attractions operated at a net loss ranging
from $160,500 in 2005 to $321,000 in 2009. Based on full staffing
allocations and cost recoveries, municipal investments in the
attractions have ranged from $280,000 to $320,000.
The centre has been open since the
summer of 2001 and was constructed for $6 million.