Hosting culminating high school tournaments generates about $13.97 million for Casper area - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Hosting culminating high school tournaments generates about $13.97 million for Casper area

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Hosting Wyoming High School Activities Association culminating tournaments in Casper generates about $13.97 million in total economic impact for the area on an annual basis, according to Visit Casper CEO Brook Kaufman.

Such benefit to Casper and Natrona’s economy comes from the following spending areas:

  • $2.75 million in lodging
  • $4.46 million in food and beverage
  • $2.99 million in retail
  • $1.55 million in recreation

Kaufman and former former Proud to Host the Best Committee Karin East attended the Casper City Council’s Tuesday, Sept. 22 work session to share details about economic impacts from hosting high school sports in Casper.

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East noted that the Proud to Host the Best Committee have to raise about $180,000 on an annual basis in order to host the tournaments at the Casper Events Center. While the committee are not charged for use of the Events Center, they do have to pay for labor and other associated costs.

East added that Visit Casper contributes about $50,000 a year to the Proud to Host the Best Committee’s fundraising efforts and the Forward Casper Economic Development Joint Powers Board contributed $35,000. The Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board contributed about $20,000.

Kaufman said that raising $180,000 a year “is a tremendous ask for a group of volunteers.” She noted that the Proud to Host the Best Committee has about 11-15 members.

Kaufman said that they attended the city council meeting to share the economic impact data so that the community understands how significant hosting high school events is for the local economy.

Mayor Steve Freel said that if there was something council could do to help the committee, they should reach out.

The committee didn’t have a specific ask during the work session, but rather wanted to ensure they were communicating the impact the sports generate for the community.

They shared the following figures for how much the tournaments bring to the Casper area:

  • All sports:
    • $13.97 million total economic impact
      • $2.75 million in lodging
      • $4.46 million in food and beverage
      • $2.99 million in retail
      • $1.55 million in recreation
  • Wrestling
    • hosted since the 1980s
    • 5,073 tickets sold at last event
    • about $2.2 million in total economic impact
      • $377K in lodging
      • $527K in food and beverage
      • $490K in retail
      • $410K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $42,880
    • costs committee $32,088.54
  • 1A/2A State Basketball
    • hosted since 1994
    • 8,830 tickets sold at last event
    • $2.96 million total economic impact
      • $641K in lodging
      • $1.08 million in food and veverage
      • $634K in retail
      • $222K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $63,333
    • costs committee $32,837.65
  • 3A/4A State Basketball
    • hosted since 1994
    • 10,252 tickets sold at last event
    • $3.39 million total economic impact
      • $733K in lodging
      • $1.23 million in food and beverage
      • $725K in retail
      • $253K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $72,397
    • costs committee $36,345.25
  • Volleyball
    • hosted since 2010
    • 5,880 tickets sold at last event
    • $2.45 million total economic impact
      • $475K in lodging
      • $577K in food and veverage
      • $536K in retail
      • $449K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $50,107
    • costs committee $21,666.56
  • State Track
    • hosted since 1980
    • 3,600 tickets sold at last event
    • $2.25 million total economic impact
      • $458K in lodging
      • $772K in food and veverage
      • $453K in retail
      • $159K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $45,804
    • costs committee $5,668,92
  • Spirit
    • hosted since 1998
    • 2,826 tickets sold at last event
    • $468K total economic impact
      • $63K in lodging
      • $185K in food and veverage
      • $105K in retail
      • $41K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $8,434
    • costs committee $6,539.71
  • Marching Band
    • hosted since 2016
    • 3,155 tickets sold at last event
    • $238K total economic impact
      • $50K in lodging
      • $83K in food and veverage
      • $49K in retail
      • $17K in recreation
    • local taxes generated: $4,970
    • costs committee $7,913.25

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.