Nocturnal Fest had $200,000 economic impact on Rockdale

They weren’t high-fiving in the council chambers at City Hall Monday evening, but they weren’t far from it either.

City Manager Kelvin Knauf told the council, and an audience which included six members of the Chamber of Commerce board, he estimated the Sept. 4-5 Nocturnal Fest at Apache Pass benefitted the Rockdale economy by about $200,000.

Nocturnal Fest drew crowds estimated at 25,000 to the venue on the San Gabriel River.

“It was a significant financial boon to the city,” he said.

Knauf said the rule of thumb for economists is to estimate a tourist dollar “turns over” seven times before it leaves a community.

MOTELS—“ I know every motel in Rockdale was full and some motel owners have told me they turned away more than a hundred people.”

Joann Ratliff, co-owner of Rainbow Courts, who was at the meeting, estimated her motel turned away 1,000 potential customers.

“We did not have a single problem,” Ratliff said. “Everyone was well behaved and it was an educated crowd.”

SXSW— Knauf said he went to Apache Pass during the event and walked around talking to attendees.

“I talked to people from Philadelphia, from Pittsburgh, from Los Angeles,” he said. “There were people who flew to Austin, rented a car and drove here.”

“All of the people I talked to were very impressed with the venue and with the organization,” Knauf said. “One told me he liked this better than (Austin’s) South by Southwest.”

FUTURE EVENTS— Council members, and the audience, discussed future events planned for Apache Pass and vowed to be better coordinated with such events in the future.

“We hear there are other events planned with different kinds of music, including country,” Mayor Larry Jones said.

Knauf said marketing plans, and the city’s new website, should make note of Apache Pass and promote Rockdale and it’s businesses for their proximity.

“This should be a significant economic boost in the future,” he said.

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2010-09-16 digital edition

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