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The Chamber Impact: Attracting Sporting Tournaments

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Post Date: Nov 25, 2019

There's no question tourism is one of our area's most significant economic drivers, particularly during the summer and at the peak of the ski season. But what about those long shoulder seasons, particularly mid-March through early May, and again during November before ski season starts? Gallatin Valley Tournament Committee has taken this challenge head-on, and the results are proving successful.

Years ago, the committee formed to pursue, promote, and host high school sporting events to drive economic activity to the Gallatin Valley during these shoulder seasons when traditional tourism is lighter. The overall impact of all Montana High School Association (MHSA) tournaments, is estimated between $5,000,0000 and $6,000,000 per year, not including non-MHSA tournaments. That's a lot of revenue flowing through the state.

In 2018, Gallatin County saw $814,069,000 in non-resident spending during the peak travel season. Bringing tournaments to our area adds a big boost to our local businesses during the non-peak season. Visitors spend money on gas, food, lodging, and retail. It's estimated that each tournament shows revenue to breakdown as follows:

• Restaurants/Bars 25%

• Gas/Diesel 25%

• Grocery/Retail 20%

• Hotel/Motel 18%

• Other 12%

These tournaments add up! For example, the All-Class MHSA Volleyball Tournament will bring teams from all across Montana, in all four levels of high schools to compete in Bozeman November 14-16, 2019, bringing approximately 6,000 people to town.

As a business owner, there are several ways you can get involved.

1. Volunteer. It takes nearly 1,000 volunteer hours to host these tournaments, so sparing a few extra hours to help goes a long way!

2. Join the Gallatin Valley Tournament Committee. Sponsored by both the Bozeman and Belgrade Chambers of Commerce, this committee works to identify and pursue tournaments, negotiates the bids to host the events, and conducts fundraising to support the bids.

3. Become a sponsor. If you're short on time, becoming a sponsor helps defray the tournament costs (facilities, hospitality rooms, officials, and security) so our bids are more competitive. If you're already a sponsor, we thank you for your support!

We already have a robust list of tournaments scheduled, with more in the works. If you're interested in joining the committee, volunteering your time, or becoming a sponsor, call 406.586.5421.


Tournament

School

Date(s)

All Class Volleyball

Montana State University

November 14 - 16, 2019

Tom LeProwse Wrestling

Bozeman High School

January 3 - 4, 2020

Hardwood Classic Basketball

Bozeman High School

January 25 - January 26, 2020

State AA Speech

Bozeman High School

January 31 - February 1, 2020

Eastern AA Divisional

Belgrade High School

February 7 - February 8, 2020

Boys & Girls State AA Basketball

Montana State University

March 12 - 14, 2020

State AA Tennis

Bozeman High School

May 15 - 16, 2020

All Class Volleyball

Montana State University

November 12-14, 2020

Boys & Girls State C Basketball

Montana State University

March 11-13, 2021


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