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Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games economic impact study completed

The games had a local impact of $201 million, higher than initially projected.

By Edited Press Release | 28-Jun-11

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World Equestrian Games medal
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Lexington, Kentucky from Sept. 26-Oct. 10, 2010. Photo: Leslie Potter
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Governor Steve Beshear announced today.

"The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have." Gov. Beshear said. "It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years."

Gov. Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson participated in the announcement today at the Kentucky Horse Park.

"The World Equestrian Games was a unique opportunity to reaffirm our standing as Horse Capital of the World, as well as promote tourism and business in Kentucky," said Mrs. Beshear. "To witness the event first-hand, from its inception to the closing ceremony of the final day, I am thrilled with its success and want to thank everyone who took part in creating and executing such a tremendous, historic event for our state."

The Alltech World Equestrian Games were held Sept. 25 through Oct. 10, 2010, the first time the international event had been held outside of Europe. The games are composed of eight events - dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para dressage, reining and vaulting.

According to the report commissioned by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Alltech World Equestrian Games Foundation reported that it sold or provided complimentary tickets to 419,853 visitors. They came from 63 countries and all 50 states.

The economic impact took into account "direct" spending that accounted for $128.2 million. This includes guest spending at the Horse Park, lodging, restaurants, shopping centers and retail outlets.

It also considered "indirect" spending - $73.3 million - such as money spent for food and lodging suppliers, construction and other services that were needed to support the influx of guests.

The report found that $55.4 million was spent on tickets, food, souvenirs and other items at the event while $39.6 million was spent on lodging. The games also generated nearly $18.4 million in state taxes and nearly $4.6 million in local taxes, the report said.

"While these financial impact numbers are quite impressive and stronger than even anticipated, the impact extends far beyond the monetary evaluation," said Dr. Lyons. "For years to come, our community will reap the benefits of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, from a new sense of community pride to statewide improvements and infrastructures that continue to drive tourism today."

The study was conducted for the cabinet by Certec Inc. of Versailles. Information for the study was supplied by the World Games 2010 Foundation Inc., the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. An online version of the report is available at kentuckytourism.com.

"The investment Gov. Beshear and the legislature made here at the Horse Park has already made this facility the best in the nation for equine-related events and organizations," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. "The visibility the Games brought to our city and the investments the state made in Lexington to help our city host the Games - road improvements, a much improved gateway into our city and a new runway at the airport - have elevated Lexington's brand as the Horse Capital of the World. The legacy and the economic impact of the Games have been remarkable."

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

6/28/2011 11:20:00 PM

That's great that it was such a huge financial success. What did they spend on it?

mary    Fayetteville, TN

6/28/2011 2:04:53 PM

Cool!

kilee    sioux city, IA

6/28/2011 8:29:22 AM

It`s so cool to see that other countries and states just to ride and compete around the world see the world equestrain games
cheering for there country.

Horselover    Horsetown, KS

6/28/2011 7:44:57 AM

I agree with you Tammy-- makes it much more accessible.

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