Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rodeo park will boost economy

We are writing this letter in support of the Hailey Rodeo Park project. The financial benefits to local businesses and citizens resulting from the rodeo arena, the expanded skatepark and the ice facility will be huge. Each piece of the project has huge benefits to our kids, and the revenue generated from potential hockey tournaments alone will be beneficial to our community.

First, let's do the numbers. If a tournament consists of five out-of-town teams of 13 players each, plus coaches and parents, eight hotel rooms per team will be needed. That equates to 40 rooms for two nights. With an average rate of $75 per night, that equates to $6,000 over the course of a weekend in lodging alone. The same visitors will be shopping, using services and eating in our towns. Ten thousand dollars coming into the community every weekend is not unrealistic.

The Mountain Express uses a "multiplier"(secondary effects of spending in a region) of 10 for each dollar spent locally; Zions Bank figures a multiplier of seven. This means that for a $10,000 financial infusion into our local economy, between $70,000 and $100,000 could be generated.

There are many substantial benefits to this project, ranging from financial to community. The construction of this facility will bring much-needed wages to our area; using the above multiplier on this project, this $6 million capital project can turn into an enormous stimulus to our economy during the construction phase in a slow construction year. If we wait for the economy to improve, the project will cost more and take longer to build. This investment in infrastructure now will bring much-needed jobs to our community.

Investing in our kids is an investment in our future. Healthy kids make a healthy community.

Please vote "yes" for the Hailey Rodeo Park bond on May 25. You won't regret it!

Chris and Sarah Benson


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