FFA Convention Brings Dollars to Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/14/08

FFA Convention Brings Dollars to Lubbock

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Lubbock streets will be filled with 10,000 gold and blue jackets this week. The city is hosting the annual Texas Future Farmers of America Convention.

"Our estimates are over $4 million economic impact because you're bringing over 10,000 students and parents and teachers to town for three, four, five, some of them seven days they're staying," said Marcy Jarrett of Visit Lubbock.

The convention brings in as much money as a Texas Tech home football game, but it has nothing to do with the old pigskin, just pigs.

Students are traveling to Lubbock from across the state and spending money when they get here. "We spent, not counting our transportation, a little over $3,000 to get here for our stay and meal money," said FFA advisor Dusty Caldwell. 

When each school district spends a few thousand dollars, it adds up to more than $4 million in expected revenue for Lubbock. Nearly every hotel room in Lubbock is booked with convention participants, but the economic impact goes beyond the hotel industry.

"It is going to be a very big economic impact not just for hotels. When you have a convention everybody says look at what the hotels do, but look at where the 10,000 kids are going to eat, they're gonna go to a 7-11, all the busses that you see are gonna fill up with gas," said Rob Meyer of the Lubbock Hotels and Motels Association.

NewsChannel 11 spoke to the Texas FFA executive director, Tom Maynard Monday. He praised the host committee and the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, but said they had some problems with the city's hotels. "We've just had some issues having our folks rooms cancelled, and we've had some hotels that didn't honor contracts, and that's been a big issue," said Maynard.

Visit Lubbock is footing the bill to move the guests to Tech dorms. Marcy Jarrett, the Executive Director of Visit Lubbock, said they will discuss how to prevent this from happening in the future and who will cover the costs at their board meeting on Monday.

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