Economic Impact Study Shows State Fair Predictions Not Far Off


When the Nebraska State Fair was moving to Grand Island five years ago, business leaders predicted it would have about a $20 million economic impact on the community.

Grand Island Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Johnson says they crunched the numbers again using figures from the 2013 fair, and their calculations were pretty close.

She says the eleven days of the fair, plus year-round work by the staff, generates over $21 million. She says that does not include livestock shows like junior nationals held separately from the fair.

“It's a very conservative economic impact study in that I used only the categories of gasoline, accommodations, food and beverage and retail,” says Johnson. “To have that amount of economic impact as the result of a very limited number of inputs is pretty good for the community of Grand Island, it's actually great.”

Johnson says the Chamber uses software that looks at direct spending, such as salaries; indirect spending as in purchases between the fair and other businesses; and induced spending, dollars spent when, for example, a restaurant hires an extra person to work because of the fair and that employee spends their wages.