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In a press conference this morning at the Love Civic Center, the results of a recent study on the economic impact that two annual events have on our community were released.
The findings showed huge benefits. The Tour de Pars, which is a one-day event, brings in $114,764 of local spending, while the two-day ASA Archery Tournament brings $1,109,195. The two combine for more than $1.2 million of local spending, according to the study.
Dr. Steven Schwiff, Dean of the Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance at Texas A&M-Commerce, was commissioned to conduct the study by the Paris Convention and Visitors Council and the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Schwiff’s findings concluded an estimated $600,000 of additional spending is generated within the county that is directly related to the two annual events, with 13 jobs that exist within the county that directly depend on the Tour de Paris and the ASA tournament.
It is this additional spending — or ‘new money’ — that the events bring in from tourists that shows the real economic impact they have on our community, not just the total event spending. For example, Dr. Schwiff said, if you have a sporting event in your community and the only people that come to the event are those in the community, that is not an economic impact.
The study also showed that overnight attendees spend a substantial amount more than non-overnight attendees, however 70% of those attending the events are non-overnight. It is estimated that overnight attendees average a group of three and spend $800, while non-overnight individuals spend $115 per person.
The three most effected sectors of our economy by these events are retail, hotel/motel and food/beverage. Since overnight attendees tend to spend more and the ASA tournament is a two-day event, it is able to bring in more spending to our county, as many of the attendees are tourists and non-county residents. Tourism spending from non-county residents generates additional economic activity within the county, according to the study.
Dr. Schwiff’s findings also say that it is estimated that an additional $300,000 to $400,000 in local impact could occur if the county were more diverse.
The Tour de Paris will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, July 19. The ASA Archery Tournament will return to Lamar County for ninth straight year in 2015.