Georgia National Fair, economic impact in Middle Georgia

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- The Georgia National Fair returns to Perry, and officials expect a major economic impact for Middle Georgia.

The chief marketing and business development officer, Keaton Walker, says the fairgrounds receive $1 million from the state each year.

With the money granted, the fairgrounds hire both in-state and out-of-state businesses to help with daily activities at the facility.

UGA fair study

Walker says that one University of Georgia study estimates that the fair generates roughly $80 million.

“Of that $80 million, $5 million is sales tax that goes directly back into the state,” Walker said. “496,000 people came out to the fair last year and we project to exceed that number this year.”

Walker says the fair partners with the City of Perry. The city provides local officials and police officers to help with security.

“Volunteers come out to help and see what goes on when putting a fair together,” Walker said. “We hire temporary positions that are filled by local citizens for the setup and take down process.”

Allison Hamsley, President and CEO of the Perry Convention and Visitors Bureau, says a large percentage of fair participants are out-of-towners who contribute to the local economy.

“All 20 hotels in Perry are normally filled the full length of the fair,” Hamsley said. “The fair brings tourists and visitors who may not normally come through. We use that revenue for tourist development and enhancements around the city.”

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