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The Cabela's NWT was hosted by the Mobridge Area Chamber's Tourism Committee this June 26-28. On the suggestion of tournament organizers, the Committee decided to collect economic impact data from fishermen at the tournament--offering a chance to win a $100 gas card to each angler that filled out a survey. Out of 196 total anglers (98 2-man teams), 147 anglers participated in the survey for a 75% response rate. Eighty-one of the respondents were pros in this tournament, and 66 were amateurs. The spending habits of the two groups were very different.

"By averaging all the data separately on the pros and the amateurs, we are able to get a good picture of our average team in the tournament," says Merkel. The average pro brought 1.5 spectators with him to the tournament and stayed 7.6 nights in local accommodations. On average, each pro spent a total of $1,707.80 on the trip. The average amateur, on the other hand, brought 1.1 spectators. They stayed 4.7 nights and estimated their total spend at $722.50. Using these total spend numbers, the Chamber estimates that NWT anglers spent a total of $238,169 directly in our community.

Since 1986, the State of South Dakota has used an economic multiplier of 2.5 for tourism events. This means that the dollars visitors spend directly in our communities are circulated 2.5 times, through payroll and purchasing, before they escape the local economy through outside spending. Using this number for the NWT Tournament, the Chamber estimates that the NWT Tournament had a total economic impact of about $595,400 locally.

"We had great feedback about our community and the tournament volunteers," says Merkel, "and we think the NWT might return to Mobridge more quickly because of the positive experience they had." The Chamber and its Tourism Committee are grateful to the businesses and residents who made visiting fishermen feel so welcome. "We had to detour local traffic at times and clogged up the parking at Indian Creek Recreational Area for a few days," says Merkel. "We're thankful for everyone's patience and hope local residents will feel that this kind of economic impact was well worth it."

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