Barbeque Events can be a Bright Spot in Economic Downtimes
The events bring more than good food, fun and entertainment; they have a direct and indirect economic impact on the cities that host them.
Research shows that a typical out-of-town visitor spends
For example, in
“Every hotel within 100 miles was booked to capacity,” said Autry. From local patrons to out-of-towners, attendees enjoyed the smoke of competitive barbeque teams, championship cuisine and live entertainment. In addition to barbeque fans, more than 50 judges and 50 barbeque teams from dozens of states descended on
It is this kind of economic success that is driving many cities to enter the barbeque arena for the first time. While they may have to start small, places like
The little town of
“The contest brings about 45 competition teams and more than 5,000 attendees into our town every year,” estimates organizer
“Our grocery store directly benefits from goods bought by the teams,” said Fritz. “Bars and restaurants benefit; our retailers and hardware store benefits. Our businesses understand the value of visitors.”
The ultimate goal is to develop an annual event like the River City Roundup in
“Jobs indirectly generated or induced by tourism are some of the best and have the most impact of any industry,” said
“Check the accounts payable lists for hotels and attractions. You will find many local vendors… florists, bakers, landscapers, construction workers, special events planners and advertising executives,” points out Serff. “Also consider that almost half of many white tablecloth restaurants’ revenue comes as a result of travel and about 17 percent of fast food restaurant (revenue).”
Out-of-town visitors to Omaha’s River City Roundup spent an additional
“Nearly 80 percent of our attendees travel from outside
Local charities are often benefactors of barbeque competitions. In
The Smokin’ 4th BBQ Shootout in
Since May is National BBQ Month, it’s a good time to ask how do you start a barbeque competition? Where can you turn for assistance?
The most popular answer can be found in the country’s heartland,
Growing the sport through kids’ competitions is becoming a popular part of many barbeque contests. Often, a sponsor will donate grills that kids can use, then take home. KCBS rules also govern kid’s competitions; however, instead of brisket they cook chicken or hamburgers and always under adult supervision. The young competitors take the challenge seriously. At the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival in
“What other friendly sport can you choose that generates so much economic gain for communities and downright fun for entire families?” questions
Wells points out that part of the KCBS mission is to “celebrate and promote barbeque as America’s cuisine.” Add to that the economic impact of barbeque competitions, and cities across America may have the perfect recipe for an ailing economy.
In 2008, KCBS began sponsoring The Great American BBQ Tour, a cross-country visit to some of the nation’s top barbeque festivals. Now in its second season, the big KCBS trailer will stop at 25 premier competitions and several retail locations across the U.S.
The tour will feature demonstrations of products that go great in and with world-class BBQ, including TABASCO brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce, Kingsford Competition Briquets, Weber Grill Creations, SCOTT Shop Towels and TUMS – all sponsors of the tour. KCBS barbeque championship members will also show how backyard grillers can take tips from BBQ pros for their outdoor cooking at home.
To learn more about the economic impact of barbeque events or how to sanction barbeque competitions, visit www.kcbs.us or call 1-800-963-KCBS. For more information about The Great American BBQ Tour, visit www.kcbstour.com.
SOURCE Kansas City Barbeque Society