The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 21, 2013

LibertyFest events create $6.5M economic impact

EDMOND — LibertyFest continues to be a valuable amenity for the Edmond community.

The Convention, Tourism Advisory Board this week discussed the LibertyFest Economic Impact Report as prepared by the Edmond Economic Development Authority.

“Total economic impact value could total $6,534,930,” according to the report.

Eleven LibertyFest events occur from June 22 to July 4, said Cathy Williams White, Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. Events include the Car Show, Cardboard Boat Regatta, KiteFest, Rodeo, Road Rally, A Taste of Edmond, Concert in the Park, LibertyFest Parade, ParkFest at the University of Central Oklahoma, fireworks and Scholarship Pageant.

Hotel lodging is not reserved in the name of LibertyFest, White said. People also plan their high school reunions and family reunions to coincide with the celebrations.

“We’ve themed it as a week-long celebration of the heritage of our fine state,” said Terry Lanham of CVB.

The City Council allocated $53,500 in 2012 for this year’s event, said Jessica Straughan, activity planner for the City of Edmond. The Community Agency Review Committee has requested $60,000 for the 2013-14 LibertyFest year. The City Council has not approved this amount yet. The city earned $3 from lodging last year for every $1 it spent on the grant, White said.

The EEDA report estimates that 75,000 local visitors and 25,000 non-local visitors attend LibertyFest for average of 80,000 visitor days. Daily expenses accounted for include  lodging, food, transportation, retail and entertainment for a total of $8.32 million. An average day of spending totals $286, according to the report.

Lodging taxes of $90,000 are based on lodging expenditures times the local lodging tax rate of 4 percent, according to the report.

“Total Employment Impact of the event will likely generate 89 jobs and $2,207,624 in personal income,” EEDA Executive Director Janet Yowell states in the report. “Employment impact shows the amount of local and state tax revenue that will be possibly generated as a result of LibertyFest. The total impact includes taxes paid by the organization and an estimate of additional taxes paid by employees and other supported population.”

The total employment impact of LibertyFest is expected to bring $336,023 in local sales tax dollars and $265,479 in state sales tax dollars. The economic impact cannot account for airfare, car rentals or media exposure associated with LibertyFest.

TO LEARN MORE about LibertyFest 2013, visit http://tinyurl.com/bc72m4y.

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