West Texas Fair and Rodeo brings in big money

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The West Texas Fair and Rodeo creates an economic boom in Abilene each year: an estimated 1.5 million dollars.

The fair draws in people from all across the state, such as livestock exhibitors, who typically stay in town for some time.

Expo Center general manager Rochelle Johnson says that a 2011 economic study shows that $1.5m impact, which is "equal to the high school rodeo and the 4H horse show."

The scope of the fair does draw some criticism, with some people saying that it draws business away from local establishments, such as restaurants. Johnson says that the benefits outweigh any negatives. "You always hear people talk about how it takes money away from the community, and indeed, people are coming out here rather than eating in restaurants and so forth. But there is other economic impact caused by the fair and rodeo being here."

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