The former Days Inn next to McPhillips Station Casino is slated for demolition in early December. Prior to this occurring, Manitoba Lotteries has made the building and its contents available to support the community. 2,500 items have been donated to community groups and the empty building will be used for provincial emergency services training. The former hotel was acquired by Manitoba Lotteries on September 1, 2010 as part of a long term improvement plan for McPhillips Station Casino.
Provincial Emergency Services Training On-Site Today
Beginning today, the Office of the Fire Commissioner will begin Operation Gold Rush, an on-site search and rescue simulation at the empty building.
“Through the generous offer from Manitoba Lotteries, Manitoba’s Urban Search And Rescue team will be able to use the building for a number of highly specific training exercises,” said Chris Jones, Manitoba Fire Commissioner. “These real-life exercises are critical to keeping our team trained and ready to respond immediately if a real disaster strikes.”
Earlier in October the Winnipeg Police Service conducted four days of forensic training inside the hotel. They are scheduled to run additional exercises this month. The RCMP
Emergency Response Team is also interested in training there during November.
“It’s not often that an empty building that large becomes available in an urban setting,” said Winnipeg Police Services’ Inspector Jim Poole. “We saw an opportunity to utilize the space for simulated training exercises which benefit our officers.”
“We knew the assets within the former hotel had great potential for community benefit,” said Winston Hodgins, President and CEO of Manitoba Lotteries. “But to see so many training and simulation exercises also taking place in the building is an added bonus which we are proud to support.”
Community Groups Received Contents of Former Hotel
Manitoba Lotteries donated the contents of the former hotel to six nonprofit community groups. About 2,500 items were donated including beds, draperies and linens, furniture and art, appliances, televisions and kitchenware.
The majority of items went to Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape, an organization that helps women and children escape poverty and abusive environments. The other recipient organizations include the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) Manitoba; the Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Centre; the St. John’s Sportsmen’s Club; Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba and Steinbach’s Mennonite Heritage Village.
“There is a unique opportunity to give new life to the contents of the former hotel, through community distribution,” said Hodgins, “Our staff were highly proactive in engaging with the community and building off our existing Asset Donation Program, in order to benefit those most in need.”
Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape, which distributes gently used household goods and furniture to 10 community-based organizations, was able to take the largest quantity, mostly furnishings and beds.
“This donation has real value for our clients, as these essential household goods are potentially expensive to purchase at retail,” said Oyate Tipi’s Manager, Millie Anderson.
“We receive donations regularly, but it’s extremely rare to receive two semi trailers of items from a single source – this is going to help a lot of people.”
“We are thrilled that Oyate Tipi and the other non-profits were in a position to make use of these items for the betterment of their programs and we are proud to have played a small role in making that happen,” said Hodgins.
To arrange an interview, please contact:Lorne Kletke Communications Officer Manitoba Lotteries [email protected] 204-957-2500 ext. 2341
|Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape Millie Anderson 204-589-2218
|Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Centre Mary Lynn Moffat 204-240-4043
|LEAF Manitoba Betty Hopkins 204-453-1379
|Mennonite Heritage Village Stan Franz 204-326-9661 ext. 228
|St. John’s Sportsmen’s Club Thomas Handkamer 204-634-7038
|Winnipeg Police Service Constable Jason Michalyshen [email protected]
|Office of the Fire Commissioner Paul White, 204-945-8124 Glen Cassey, 204-945-0750