Big Summer Events Inject Millions into Local Economy

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BRAZOS COUNTY - The towns of Bryan and College Station are coming down off a very busy summer. A season that's been good for our local economy.

The twin cities hosted more than 20 events benefiting a lot of local hotels, restaurants, and retail businesses. Now, the economy is seeing a boost heading into a busy football season.

High temperatures didn't keep visitors away from B/CS. Tens of thousands of people flocked to the area for more than 20 events.

"Our hotels are telling us this is the best summer they've had on record," said Jordan Meserole with the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB estimates that from May 1 to August 1, there have been 60,000 visitors in the twin cities.

That number is just for sporting events and conventions alone. The 7 on 7 Football Tournament brought nearly 15,000 over the three day period. The Games of Texas saw about 25,000 that stayed in area hotels and ate at area restaurants.

Even the Great American Shootout basketball tournament brought nearly 4,500 visitors. Combined with the other events this summer?
The CVB says that's a $10 million impact.

But that's just a conservative estimate. It could be a lot more. That could prove to be a game changer for local businesses.

"Its caught a few of the small businesses by surprise, for sure," said Meserole. He said even locals that have lived in town for a number of years are used to slow months. In fact, some businesses actually have reduced summer hours. The CVB says that's changing, in part, to the big events that are being hosted in B/CS.

"Summer had been historically slow time, but we don't want it to be slow anymore. We want that to be a thing of the past," said Meserole.

Banking on the success of recent years, the CVB wants to keep business strong year round, not just during one season. Hotels and restaurants are working hard to keep up with the influx of cash and cars for big events.

"I mean it's a good problem to have," laughed Meserole. One that could be around for a while.

The economic impact numbers from the Convention and Visitors Bureau only reflect this summer, not the influx from hundreds of oil and gas workers that have been staying in area hotels. As the Texas A&M football season nears, hotel rooms will be a hot commodity.

The CVB uses tourism economic multipliers as evaluated by the Recreation, Parks & Tourism office at Texas A&M to calculate estimated impact from the conventions and sports tournaments. The office declares a multiplier of $130 for sports and $205 for conventions. It should be noted these numbers are estimates based on events and conventions that the CVB has worked with or brought in to the cities, and is an estimate rather than a hard figure.