Horse Parks in Western States
Over the past 20 years, horse parks in Western States have contributed greatly to their communities. First consider the Colorado Horse Park, the largest horse park west of the Mississippi, located midway between Colorado Springs and Denver. In January 2013, results of a study providing a clearer snapshot of the economic impact of the horse industry in Douglas and Elbert counties in Colorado was released to the public. Summit Economics, LLC, a research and consulting service specializing in applied economics, public policy, municipal finance and business strategy development, conducted the research. The firm has extensive experience in preparing economic impact studies for government and business, and made these conclusions:
- The economic impact associated with the Colorado Horse Park is approximately $15 million per year, which directly or indirectly supports approximately 300-350 jobs in the two counties. Activity associated with equine activities in general is responsible for a much larger figure, approximately $100 million to $315 million, in economic activity in the two counties.
- A significant number of jobs were created as a result of the exports of equine goods and services produced in the two counties, as well as a large economic footprint resulting from the local ownership and uses of horses. Residential horse enthusiast expenditures also create jobs for the feeding and care and enjoyment of their horses. The employment impact, both direct and indirect, is estimated to be between 1400 and 1950 individual jobs.
- The impact on the real estate industry from sales that would not occur but for the existence of a robust equine environment creates jobs in construction and the maintenance of residential structures.
- Conclusion: without the equine industry and Colorado Horse Park, Douglas and Elbert counties would be smaller and poorer. It would be a far less interesting, stimulating place to live, with fewer recreational and housing choices.
Reference: “The Economic Impact of the Equine Industry in Douglas and Elbert Counties, Phase I & II Report, Impact of Activities at the Colorado Horse Park”, prepared by Summit Economics, LLC, November 2012, page 21 “V. Summary”.
In a side note, Mark Bellissimo, the owner of successful horse parks in both Tryon, North Carolina and Wellington, Florida has recently purchased the Colorado Horse Park. To read more the purchase and it’s economic impact on the community, click here.
Closer to home is WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona. While doing their own feasibility study for a horse park, the state of Maryland found the following:
- Owned and operated by the City of Scottsdale, WestWorld is a premier, nationally recognized, user-friendly equestrian center and special events facility that serves both community residents and out-of-town visitors. WestWorld is dedicated to providing public recreational opportunities and a venue for entertainment activities with an emphasis on equestrian and western themed events to citizens and target market visitors; enhancing Scottsdale’s image as the West’s Most Western Town; and offering public access and excellent customer service to all.
- WestWorld currently consists of several covered arenas (including covered seating for more than 6,000 people), 10 outdoor rings, a polo field, 936 permanent stalls and 450 full-service RV hookups.
- The complex hosts various equine and non-equine events including the world’s largest Arabian horse show and the annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. WestWorld generally averages approximately 100 events totaling between 500,000 and 600,000 attendees annually.
- In an effort to improve and develop a flexible facility to draw new major events and create year- round opportunities for local equestrian users and visitors alike, the City of Scottsdale directed staff in 2013 to move forward with development of the $42.8 million expansion of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, formerly the Equidome at WestWorld.
Reference: Maryland Stadium Authority, “Economic Impact Analysis For a Proposed New Horse Park in Anne Arundel County, Maryland”.
There is much more information regarding the economic impact of horse parks on local communities. Soon let’s be reading about the impact of the Monterey Horse Park on Seaside!
We’ve had many questions regarding the recent Monterey Downs events. Primarily, “how does this effect the Monterey Horse Park?”
The short answer is that we’re not sure. We know that, in the face of law suits by KFOW and Landwatch, the City of Seaside decided to rescind their approvals of the General Plan and Specific Plan, to de-certify the EIR, and to send the projects back to the Seaside Planning Commission for modifications.
Thursday was a huge step toward our dream of a Horse Park. The Seaside City Council certified the EIR. They also approved the Specific Plan and the General Plan, which will require a second vote November 17.
For anyone who has participated in a horse show, be it at the national, state or local level, there is no doubt that these activities generate a lot of money. The American Horse Council’s Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States study includes some impressive statistics that confirm the significant impact of the horse show industry.
Home to more equine events than any other city in the world, Oklahoma City is the venue of choice for more than a dozen top national and world championship horse shows, attracting riders from across the nation – and world – each year.
Not only do Oklahoma City horse shows provide family fun entertainment, they make a substantial contribution to the city’s economy.
Horse Shows in the Sun, Inc. is pleased to release the results of an extensive economic impact study of their 2014 horse show series held each January – March at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida.
Horse Shows in the Sun located in Thermal, CA is a seasonal venue offering a series of 8 horse shows each winter. Each week brings 3000 horses, 10,500 horsemen and horsewomen and 25,000 spectators to Thermal. Most importantly, $120,000,000 is added annually to the local economy in money spent on food, lodging, living expenses and entertainment. Imagine what a year round facility such as the Monterey Horse Park could bring in!
This Thursday, November 10, the EIR Certification will once again come before the Seaside City Council and this time we hope there will be a vote.
Thursday night’s Seaside City Council meeting was well attended by numerous MHP supporters and board members. A number of persons from the hospitality industry, real estate, and chambers of commerce spoke in favor of the three projects, as well as private citizens of Seaside. The Mayor and Council were forced to continue the meeting to November 10 due to a last minute legal submission of a multiple page document, but we remain optimistic and will keep you informed.
FIRST ROUND OF COUNCIL VOTES. We need every Horse Park supporter to demonstrate their support! Click through to RSVP or send a supportive email.
Horse Parks are the wave of the future across the nation. Over half of our states have horse parks, many funded by the state itself. Horse Parks provide millions of dollars in revenue to their communities.