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Waddington Bassmaster tournament generated millions


POTSDAM — Waddington’s turn at the Bassmaster Elite Series in August generated $1.03 million to $3.38 million, according to an economic impact study done by six Clarkson University master of business administration students.

The students presented their findings Monday to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators and the county Chamber of Commerce at Clarkson’s Student Center.

“It was expected that organizing an event as large as this with more than 30,000 visitors would have a significant impact on the county,” according to the student report.

More than 34,000 people were in Waddington from Aug. 8 to 11 for the tournament and to attend a festival.

Earlier this year, the county pledged $75,000 toward the cost of hosting the tournament in order to promote tourism.

“It’s clear the $75,000 the county invested has made significant dividends,” Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington, said.

The county needed the tournament to generate about $2.5 million in order for it to recoup the $75,000 it gave the village of Waddington, Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire said.

“We really think it was closer to $3 million,” she said.

The team of international Clarkson students determined a baseline economic impact of $1.03 million that assumes visitors spent 70 percent of the calculated expenditures at the tournament and that a multiplier effect — under which a dollar spent is then spent by another individual — was one.

The $3.38 million economic impact assumes that visitors spent 140 percent of calculated expenditures and that the impact factor was 1.6, meaning each dollar generated was respent several times.

To gather information, the students used both paper surveys and face-to-face interviews with visitors and vendors. They conducted 253 surveys that accounted for 668 visitors.

They also went to restaurants, motels and retail stores in Potsdam, Massena, Canton and Waddington to hand out surveys. However, most visitors stayed in Waddington.

Based on the surveys, the students estimated that 70 percent of attendees spent money on transportation, accommodations general shopping and food.

The students determined that of the money spent, 24.3 percent went for lodging, 25 percent was for non-fishing related shopping, 23 percent went to food and beverages, 17 percent was for fishing gear and 11 percent was spent on gas.

“I think you justified our investment,” Legislator Gregory M. Paquin, D-Massena, said.

Among the findings were:

■ Attendance was 3,639; 9,030; 11,996; and 9,435 on the four days of the event.

■ U.S. visitors accounted for 96 percent of visitors while Canadians made up 4 percent.

■ The average American spent $41.58 while the average Canadian spent $58.40.

■ The average per person gas expenditure in the county was $4.70.

■ St. Lawrence County residents made up 63 percent of the attendees.

■ The number of visitors who attended mainly for the fishing was estimated at 1,752.

■ The total revenue generated at the 99 vendor booths was $370,698.

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