Bayfest Organizers Say Figures Support Increase in City Funds

Bayfest Organizers Say Figures Support Increase in City Funds

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Mobile, AL -

Seven out of ten visitors to Bayfest last year live outside of Mobile. Four out of ten live outside of Alabama. Those are big reasons Bayfest officials say the event not only justifies the amount it gets from the City of Mobile, but merits a raise.


A study conducted by University of South Alabama economics professor Christopher Keshock looked only at outside visitors who attended Bayfest last year. It shows Bayfest generated $733,000 in tax revenue for the City…..


"That is the amount of tax that is generated from people that come from outside the impact region to spend on tourism trade goods and services," said Keshock.


The $733,000 is city tax revenue generated by its then four-percent. It does not include any multipliers often used in economic analyses. The City funded Bayfest last year at $243,000 resulting in what Keshock characterized as an almost 3:1 "return on investment."


Bayfest officials presented the figures to the City Council today and said they'll ask for $350,000 this year.


"We want the council members to feel comfortable, as times are hard," said Bobby Bostwick, President of Bayfest. "It's the people's money, and we are investing in something.  Are we getting a return?  And in our case, we are."


More money for Bayfest already has some council support.


"I'm all for the increase," said City Council President Reggie Copeland. "And we can find the funds. "


Bayfest officials say they'd also like a three to five year commitment from the City. They say that would make it easier to secure long term sponsorship contracts.


Mobile County also supports Bayfest with 200-thousand dollars. That comes from the County's hotel tax.

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