December 10, 2007
Lake Ontario Derbies Generate More than $5 Million in Oswego County
Oswego County - It is widely accepted among Oswego County residents that the fishing industry is big business in Oswego County, and new information from the 2007 Fall LOC Derby confirms the importance of sportfishing as an economic resource.
The Fall LOC Derby took place from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3 throughout the seven counties bordering Lake Ontario. Empire State Lake Ontario Promotions presented their final report of the event, which found that there were 6,352 anglers in the derby and they generated over $3.5 million in direct revenue throughout the region. Of that amount, derby anglers spent more than $1 million in Oswego County, making it the top earner of all seven counties in the derby.
The combined economic impact of the Spring, Summer and Fall LOC Derbies in Oswego County was nearly $5.5 million.
“When assessing the economic value of the LOC Derby, it is important to consider total economic impact as well as the direct revenue,” said David Chilson, from Empire State Lake Ontario Promotions. “The direct revenue is the money spent by the anglers, while the economic impact is the effect that money has on the community.”
According to Chilson, it reflects the number of jobs and businesses supported by the fishing industry either directly or indirectly as well as the amount of wages and income earned. Other factors include local and state government revenues earned from fees, licensing and taxes paid by visitors.
Revenue generated from fishing derbies benefits every aspect of the local economy. In addition to bait and tackle shops and charter services, the industry supports restaurants, grocery stores, lodgings and gas stations.
“The derbies have a significant impact on the economic health of our county,” said Nancy Farrell, owner of the Port Lodge Motel in Port Ontario. “You don't have to be a fishing-related business in order to benefit. Every tax dollar that a tourist spends is one less dollar that our residents have to spend to support our county services.”
According to Farrell, the derbies are a great way to promote Oswego County. They provide an opportunity for people to experience the area and those visitors are more likely to return and make investments in the county.
“Oswego County has a reputation as a top fishing destination,” said David Turner, Director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “Lake Ontario and its tributaries attract competitive and leisure anglers from foreign countries and throughout the United States, particularly the Northeast.”
The economic impact of outdoor sportsmen has also gained national attention. A report by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation shows that sportsmen drive rural economies and represent jobs and tax revenue in every county and every state in America.
“Locally, this spending helps Oswego County by keeping residents employed, increasing profits for local businesses, improving real estate values and supporting wildlife conservation,” said Legislator Daniel Chalifoux, District 19, Chairman of the Oswego County Economic Development and Planning Committee.
In addition to Legislator Chalifoux, the committee includes legislators John Proud, District 7, committee vice chairman; Fred C. Beardsley, District 9; Jack M. Beckwith, District 21; Clayton Brewer, District 24; Paul Natoli, District 11 and Phillip E. Vasho, District 22.
For up-to-date fishing conditions throughout the year, call the Oswego County Tourism Office fishing hotline at 1-800-248-4FUN or visit www.oswegocounty.com. For more information about the LOC Derbies, visit www.loc.org. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation report is available at www.nssf.org. If you have any other questions or would like more information, please call Oswego County Tourism and Promotion weekdays at 349-8322 or 1-800-596-3200 ext. 8322.
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