Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
FORT LORAMIE– Country music lovers from near and far are gearing up for this years Country Concert, which is only 14 days away.
Last year the Country Concert was expected to bring in $14.8 million in regional economic impact. This year the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and Shelby County Visitors Bureau expects an increase of about a million dollars.
Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Raible emphasized the word “regional” with this projection of just under $16 million because there are insufficient hotel rooms in Shelby County to accommodate all guests who desire them. As such, these guests must secure overnight stays in Miami, Auglaize and other nearby hotels. Guests then also spend money in those other areas at stores, gas stations and restaurants.
These numbers were prepared using data from TourismOhio’s 2014 report that states the average overnight traveler spends $341 and the average day trip traveler spends $112.
It is emphasized in the impact report that these estimates are conservative. Last years attendance numbers were record breaking at 74,258 for all three days, according to previous Sidney Daily News articles.
That means this year’s total ticket sales and economic impact could be drastically higher than predicted because the rise in ticket sales from 2012 to 2014 was about 18,000 tickets.
The three-day musical event, held at Hickory Hill Lakes July 9-11, will feature Carrie Underwood, Justin Moore, The Band Perry, Jake Owen, Chris Young, Florida Georgia Line and many others this year.
The concert weekend, which is celebrating its 35th year, will have some surprises, said Paul Barhorst, general manager of Country Concert.
He said they’re looking forward to another great year and bigger shows on the Saloon Stage. Barhorst said the permanent structure, that was debuted last year, allows for more room for concert goers and bigger acts to perform on the stage, like Blackhawk which has performed on the main stage before.
Just a couple weeks ago they added A Thousand Horses to the line up. Barhorst said they are excited to have them on board because they just had one of the top songs in the country.
The event offers admission to all ages, inexpensive camping and food and merchandise vendors of all kinds. For camping and ticketing information, visit countryconcert.com.