Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Monday the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held last year had an economic impact of $201.5 million, according to a study commissioned by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
“The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have,” Beshear said in a news release. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”
The games were held at the Kentucky Horse Park and were composed of different events such as dressage, driving, endurance, jumping, reining and vaulting. It was the first time the international event had been held outside of Europe.
The report by the tourism cabinet shows the games brought in direct spending that accounted for $128 million alone and indirect spending, such as money spent with food vendors, lodging suppliers and construction was $73.3 million.
However, analysis last August showed the games cost the state $258 million overall.
From the Lexington Herald-Leader:
In August 2010, a Herald-Leader analysis found that more than $107 million in state, local and federal money has been spent on improvements at the Kentucky Horse Park and other infrastructure projects specifically for the Games, including a new indoor arena.
An additional $151 million went to projects that already had been planned — some for decades — but were expedited so they’d be finished in time for the games.
Still, Beshear says the equestrian games were a success for the commonwealth, particularly for the Lexington-area, which saw an impact of passenger travel at the Blue Grass Airport.
Bringing over 400,000 visitors from around the world, the airport hosted more than 700 private and corporate airplanes, provided security for international dignitaries, welcomed more than 460 international athletes and facilitated 18 special event charter flights, according to Eric Frankl, executive director at Blue Grass Airport
The games also generated nearly $18.4 million in state taxes and nearly $4.6 million in local taxes.