September events expected to generate $9 million in tourist spending

Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 1:57 PM
Last updated 8:38 PM
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September is going to be an almost $9 million month for visitor spending.

Melissa Hauschildt crosses the finish line during the intermedix Ironman 70.3, one of the many events officials say will aid in generating the more than $8 million tourists are expected to spend in Augusta in the month of September. The tourism payoff begins this week with the Georgia Department of Economic Devel­op­ment tourism conference at the Augus­ta Con­vention Center.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Melissa Hauschildt crosses the finish line during the intermedix Ironman 70.3, one of the many events officials say will aid in generating the more than $8 million tourists are expected to spend in Augusta in the month of September. The tourism payoff begins this week with the Georgia Department of Economic Devel­op­ment tourism conference at the Augus­ta Con­vention Center.

The combination of cyber network discussions, triathletes competing and a downtown international festival will generate $8.97 million in direct visitor spending this month, reported the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Augusta Sports Council.

The tourism payoff begins this week with the Georgia Department of Economic Devel­op­ment tourism conference at the Augus­ta Con­vention Center. Gov. Nathan Deal will attend Friday’s session, the last day of the four-day conference for 400 tourism economic development professionals.

“Augusta is excited to partner with several Augusta businesses, as well as regional partners such as Columbia County, to bring this conference to our great city,” said Barry White, the president of the visitors bureau. “We’re honored to host a conference that recognizes what a driving economic force tourism is, and having it here in Augusta helps to strengthen our own economy.”

The greatest attendance figures will come from the Greater Augusta Arts Council’s Arts in the Heart of Augusta, beginning Sept. 18. More than 77,000 people are expected to attend the international festival. Because it is a regional draw without many overnight hotel stays, the event’s economic impact is only $80,600, the bureau reported.

The largest half Ironman event in the world, however, should produce $4 million in tourism spending.

The Intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta, in its sixth year, has topped out its registration at 3,500 athletes. The event runs from Sept. 23-28. Adding families to the athletes, attendance is estimated at 6,000.

“Working with the Augusta Sports Council, the community, volunteers, and the great support from the city and counties the triathlon impacts, makes this one of our favorite events of the year,” said A.J. Sills, the race director. “It is obviously a favorite for the athletes because once again it has more registrations than any 70.3 we host in the world.”

Army TechNet, a weeklong Armed Forces Com­mu­nications and Electronics Association event, will bring 2,000 people and $2 million.

The $8.97 million in direct visitor spending for September is nearly $1 million more than was estimated for September 2013.

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itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 09/01/14 - 04:12 pm
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When you say "tourism"

When you say "tourism" dollars, does that include "tourists" from ColCo, and others in the CSRA?

dichotomy
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dichotomy 09/01/14 - 04:24 pm
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I don't care.....MY PROPERTY

I don't care.....MY PROPERTY TAXES ALREADY WENT UP. Doesn't do me a damned bit of good.

I'm tired of pandering to tourists, gays, and artists. It just costs me more money and I don't get anything for it.

Paul Simon & "associates" are probably doing nicely though.

nocnoc
45125
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nocnoc 09/01/14 - 05:18 pm
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Sure is a lot of spending per person

Is this a WAG or a EWAG?

hoptoad
14109
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hoptoad 09/01/14 - 05:55 pm
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Probably a WAG! If Augusta

Probably a WAG! If Augusta expects that much revenue, why in Hades did they go ahead with a millage rate increase?

burninater
9693
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burninater 09/01/14 - 09:44 pm
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Credit where credit is due

Dichotomy, the infrastructure services to tax-exempt churches in the CSRA dwarfs spending on the "tourists, gays, and artists". If you're going to spew the venom and bile around, you may as well be accurate in your choice of targets.

TrulyWorried
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TrulyWorried 09/01/14 - 10:51 pm
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What can that money be spent on?

Hopefully it will be properly managed and accounted for. And a break down of expenditures should certainly be on hand.

nocnoc
45125
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nocnoc 09/02/14 - 06:36 am
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QUESTION

Does the ARC Budget/revenue Process count on this added income in its budgeting?

Or is it a extra revenue ....

I figure we have enough smart readers to understand why I ask.

itsanotherday1
45519
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itsanotherday1 09/02/14 - 09:24 am
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What does ARC get out of each

What does ARC get out of each $1 spent? It sounds like a boon for businesses more than the gov. I still would like to know how much, if any, is local money from the CSRA outside of ARC.

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