Hunt races make big economic impact in Orange
BY DAN McFARLAND
The Montpelier Hunt Races spur more than three-quarters of a million dollars in economic impact on Orange County, supervisors were told this week.
The races, held at James Madison’s Montpelier each year on the first Saturday in November, comprise Orange County’s largest single-day event by attendance and also generate the largest single-day infusion of tourist revenue for the county, according to a study produced by M&D Research.
Jack Miller, one of the research firm’s partners, explained that direct expenditures—what the Montpelier Steeplechase & Equestrian Foundation pays to county individuals and businesses for goods and services to support the races—were calculated to be $167,400 for the 2010 event.
Using a common 4-to-1 multiplier to estimate indirect economic impact, such as purchases made by race spectators for food, lodging, gas, drinks and other services, the total direct and indirect impact was estimated at $837,000.
Further, he said, since the study only attempted to find the specific amount benefiting Orange County businesses and individuals, the total economic impact of the event is likely in the range of $2 million.
In other action at Tuesday’s meeting, the board authorized a letter proposed by Supervisor Jim White stating support of and interest in efforts by CVA Link and StratCom International LLC to provide broadband wireless service using the unused “white-space” spectrum between TV stations.
The companies are planning to provide service to Louisa and Goochland counties, and the letter asks that Orange County be included in the areas planned for the broadband wireless service.
Stratcom recently received approval from the FCC to use the TV white-space band to provide wireless service.