Wings Over Vermont To Generate Millions in Revenue for Local Economy


In Money Matters, Wings Over Vermont is back in the Green Mountain State after a ten year hiatus.  The Airshow cost a half million dollars to bring back, but state economists think it’s a number that will double in local revenues.

State economists hope jet engines will equal dollar signs next month.  “The Airshow in itself, you won’t find a hotel room in the area,” said Rick Brehm, Director of Wings Over Vermont.  He’s been apart of 7 Airshows in the Green Mountain State.

In just 4 weeks, a crowd of thousands will head to Burlington’s Waterfront for the free show.  “There’s the Airshow junkies that make the Grateful Dead roadies look like amateurs, so the economic stimulation in the community is huge.  We expect people from Boston, Montreal, New York City,” said Brehm.

The Airshow Director says Vermont’s last show… in 2006, drew a two-day crowd of 40 thousand.  A number tourism experts expect to surpass.  “We’re expecting between 50 and 80 thousand people, so that’s a quite significant number of visitors, some will be from in state, but either way they’re out there, spending money which is a great thing,” said Joan Goldstein, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development.  She says based on the 40 thousand visitor benchmark, more than $1 million should be generated for the local economy.

That’s good news for a place like the Church Street Marketplace.  “We’re always excited when we have an event like the Airshow come to town because it certainly impacts positively on the economic vitality of our area and of the Marketplace,” said Becky Cassidy, representative of the Marketplace.  She says shop and restaurant owners are gearing up, “A tremendous number of people come, they bring their families, they bring their friends, they shop, they dine, and they share the experience.”

Fifty percent of Airshow visitors are expected to drive more than 50 miles.  Economic Research Analyst Ken Jones says it’s valuable exposure for the Green Mountain State, “Events like this, they draw people up to the Vermont area.  They can see Vermont, gives them another reason to come to the state as a tourist.”

Wings Over Vermont kicks off at 10:30 August 13th and 14th.  Airshow coordinators caution visitors to think about parking sooner rather than later, there will be over-flow parking, but spots will go fast.

We’ll continue our coverage of Wings Over Vermont as the event draws closer.

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