ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene businesses are preparing for a busy weekend. Western Heritage Classic kicked off its four-day event, with more than 30,000 people expected to attend. On top of that, more people will be traveling to Abilene to attend commencement ceremonies and celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.
Robert Lopez, Vice President of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bereau, said if anyone has tried to book a hotel here in Abilene, its a sold-out weekend. He said with Western Heritage Classic alone, it is enough to make an impact in Abilene’s local economy.
“That event sees 30,000 attendees and has an economic impact of 1.5 million for local businesses, so the combination of all these things happening this weekend Abilene is the place to be,” said Lopez.
Jared Coffelt is from Lubbock. He travels every year to the Western Heritage Classic, showing off his business Flint Custom’s Hats.
“Last year we sold a little over 300 straw hats, so yeah, we bring as many as we can bring,” shared Coffelt.
The large crowds help bring exposure to his business. At the same time, he gets to meet other business owners and people from Texas and across the nation.
“It helps generate the rest of your year, just the interest and custom orders stuff like that will trickle out throughout the year,” added Coffelt.
Grain Theory owner David Kasselman said graduation season is a busy one.
“We do get busy. Students love to bring their parents here and people have known about us for a while now, so people traveling through town love to visit on the weekends,” said Kasselman.