Time flies when you are having fun! At least it has for us at Rocky Top Sports World for the first year for our Gatlinburg sports complex. And what a year has it been.
We hosted a slew of sports training camps, classics, tournaments, matches, and special events, as well as welcomed hundreds of families and teams from all across the country to come experience all of the fun and excitement found in our area. Now, we are proud to see this accomplishment pay off in the tune of a $17.5 million impact on the local economy in Gatlinburg from visitors to Rocky Top Sports World.
Raising the Bar
When we first opened, the initial economic impact goal for our Gatlinburg sports complex was $10 million. A hefty goal in itself, we knew Gatlinburg was the prime location for a sports facility in the Southeast.
Six months after opening, we raised our economic predictions from $10 million to $14 million after we saw an accelerated number of events and attendees to our Gatlinburg sports complex, an increase of 46%. At the time, we had already hosted 26 events.
Since July 2014, we hosted a total of 44 multiple-day events. This surpassed our initial goal by nearly 70%.
In fact, not only did we surpass our first-year goal of just over $10 million. Our first-year impact beat the predicted number for our second year of operation, after giving time for word to get out about the great experiences waiting to be had at our Gatlinburg Sports World.
The initial second-year economic impact goal for Rocky Top Sports World was $15,219,613, over $2 million under our achievement this year.
We are proud to say the economic impact of our Gatlinburg sports complex goes much further than generating revenue from entry fees and event space rentals. In fact, the teams and players who choose to compete here leave a positive impact on the local economy in several ways.
The initial economic impact projections for our first year included:
- Hotel/Lodging: $3,271,247
- Restaurant: $1,853,707
- Attractions/Entertainment: $436,166
- Shopping/Retail: $432,532
- Other: $174,467
The numbers above totaled a direct economic impact of $6,168,118 and an indirect impact of $3,885, 914. Combined, these totals came out to be $10,054,032.
As we mentioned earlier, in February 2015, we increased our initial predictions from $10 million to $14 million in terms of economic impact. To put this into perspective, this increase included a Gatlinburg lodging increase of 15,000 rooms per night. By surpassing the second goal, we know our final impact was significantly higher.
With the first year under our belt, we are excited to see what the future holds for our Gatlinburg Sports Complex. As we mentioned, we have already surpassed the goals for our second year in our first year of operation. A trend we hope to see continue for years to come.
In addition to our economic impact on Gatlinburg and the surrounding communities, we look forward to the teams and events we will have the privilege to work with in the future. As these numbers show, people are finding Rocky Top Sports World is a first-class sports venue.
Not only are we surrounded by breathtaking mountain views for players and guests to enjoy when they compete here, we are also just minutes away from a ton of fun things to do and relaxing places to stay to keep teams entertained and relaxed throughout their tournament or camp. Therefore, we are the ideal setting for travel teams and athletes looking to enjoy a challenging tournament mixed in with a memorable vacation.
To get a better idea of what the future holds for Rocky Top Sports World, check out the calendar of upcoming tournaments and camps at our Gatlinburg Sports Complex.