An annual country music festival in Mesa County generates nearly $11 million in economic benefits, a new study estimates.
The addition of a second festival next year is expected to push that number even higher.
Townsquare Media, a media company that operates radio stations and live events across the United States, commissioned the analysis of the economic effects of Country Jam, a four-day event held in June near Mack. Townsquare Media operates five radio stations in Grand Junction and stages Country Jam.
Nathan Perry, an assistant professor of economics at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction and owner of Perry Analytics, conducted the study.
“The Country Jam festival provides a tremendous annual economic boost to Mesa County, and we are pleased that the results of the study conducted by Nathan Perry confirms that in detail,” said Dhruv Prasad, executive vice president of live events for Townsquare Media.
Perry focused on direct local expenditures to conduct the 2014 Country Jam festival as well as nonresident spending outside the festival.
Direct local expenditures to conduct the festival totaled nearly $2 million. In addition, almost 900 temporary, part-time and full-time employees were needed to conduct the festival. The event created a total of 126 part- and full-time jobs.
About 75 percent of the people who attended Country Jam came from outside Mesa County, bringing dollars into the local economy that increased the effects of the festival.
Many nonresident visitors stayed more than a full day beyond the festival and engaged in nonfestival activities in the region, spending an average of $511.50 outside the festival.
Local and state tax revenues from Country Jam totaled $621,512.
Brandi Pollock, owner of Fisher’s Liquor Barn in Grand Junction and a member of the Country Jam advisory council, said the effects of the festival are noticeable. “The increase that we receive in the liquor store is enough that we hire extra staff, and the current employees are getting plenty of overtime to help with the customers that are coming in,” Pollock said.
The 2015 Country Jam festival is scheduled for June 18 to 21 with a second event, the Loudwire Music Festival, planned for June 26 to 28.
“We look forward to discussing the results of the study with local government, law enforcement and business leaders so that we can work collaboratively to continue to support the local economy with Country Jam and with the Loudwire Music Festival,” Prasad said.