Spokane is the exciting hub of Inland Northwest events and festivals from early May to late September for locals, tourists and everyone else. These events have a huge positive impact on our economy. Don’t believe me? Just take a gander at the numbers below.
We kicked off a great season of events with Bloomsday this past weekend where more than 50,600 participants ran in the 35th annual race. In 2010, the direct economic impact of Bloomsday surpassed $14 million. This includes food/beverage purchases, lodging, entertainment and travel, as well as miscellaneous services and products from local Spokane businesses and vendors.
Coming at the middle of May, we have the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade as part of the Lilac Festival. The May 21 evening parade event draws in between 140,000 and 160,000 participants to Spokane each year. The Lilac Parade and many other events during the festival bring in a direct economic impact of more than $4.5 million to local Spokane businesses.
The last weekend in June marks the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament on the planet with the anticipation of 6,990 teams signing up for Hoopfest 2011 (that’s about 21,000 players). Hoopfest attracts more than 200,000 spectators, requires more than 3,000 volunteers and brings in lots of vendors throughout the weekend. Any guesses on the economic impact of this basketball packed weekend? For 2010, the estimated impact was more than $38 million!
Pig Out in the Park
Food, food, food and even more food is all you will see at Pig Out in the Park with 48 food vendors serving delicious morsels from gyros to deep fried Oreos. Vendors are able to capitalize on the huge crowds that join in the fun each year, and take in between $2,500 and $40,000 in sales. In the past 31 years Pig Out in the Park has served more than 2.4 million people. The annual economic impact is roughly $4.7 million.
Are you ready for the total annual economic impact of just a few of Spokane’s great events?
Isn’t it nice to work and play in an area that supports the local economy? As you take part in these events, just remember they are a large part of what make Spokane a great and unique place to live.