npressfetimg-779.png

Sports tourism keeps Gillette economy busy outside of summer – The Sheridan Press

GILLETTE — As summer comes to an end and kids are back in school, the end of tourism season is nearing. Traditional tourism, that is.

The season for sports tournaments is just beginning.

Just in the past five or six years, sports tourism has grown in Gillette, thanks to the support of the community and local governments. It’s brought visitors and tax revenue into the community during parts of the year that otherwise would be slower.

The summer historically has been the peak season in terms of visitors, with people driving through Campbell County on their way to Yellowstone National Park or Mount Rushmore.

But in recent years, sports tourism has helped the hospitality industry stay busy during those slower months.

Cam-plex tentatively has at least one sports tournament a month from October through March, from wrestling to soccer to basketball, not to mention the Gillette Wild or the Wyoming Mustangs, both of which play their games at Cam-plex.

“Sports tourism brings more value to our community than people realize,” said Jim West, softball coach and tournament organizer.

Kevin Couch, who’s been involved in helping put on tournaments for soccer and basketball, said that while it’s great that Gillette has the ability to host tournaments nearly year round.

More work needs to be done if the community wants this to continue and last for decades.

For a community of its size, Gillette is not lacking in sports facilities, Couch said, thanks to support from the city, county and Cam-plex.

The Energy Capital Sports Complex was built in 2015 with four softball fields. In 2020, the city had three multi-use turf fields built out there. The facility’s master plan includes the possibility of additional fields when the time is right.

In 2018, Cam-plex spent $169,000 on a sports floor so that indoor tournaments could be hosted at the Wyoming Center. Three years later, the land board bought 12 basketball hoops for $12,000.

The tournaments that were made possible by these investments have brought thousands of people to Campbell County over the years.

In June, the Razor City Showcase brought 54 teams to Gillette. The Battle for the High Plains had 28 teams, and the Wyoming state tournament had 58 teams. West estimated that each team has 15 players, and each player has at least two people coming to watch them, meaning that a 54-team tournament brings in 2,430 people.

In soccer, the tournaments have grown from 40 teams to 80 to 100-plus teams, Couch said. The Pepsi Cup Indoor Soccer Tournament had 85 teams in 2021. The K2 Technologies Clash soccer tournament had 125 teams earlier this year.

The Pinnacle Bank Shootout brought 97 basketball teams to Cam-plex in February. That tournament will be going into its third year in 2023. And the Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament, a youth basketball tournament which in its first year drew 27 teams in 2021. Couch said his goal is to nearly double that and get 50 teams to come this year.

“That’s a more challenging date, but it has a lot of growth potential,” he said.

And this doesn’t include the numerous state high school tournaments and championships that are hosted in Gillette.

Outside of estimates, it can be hard to quantify the impact that sports tourism has on a community. A well-run tournament with a hundred teams can mean at least half a million dollars in revenue for the community, Couch said.

Couch said it’s getting to the point that …….

Source: https://www.thesheridanpress.com/news/regional-news/sports-tourism-keeps-gillette-economy-busy-outside-of-summer/article_7d48c792-3061-11ed-b655-7faa03db53ad.html

GILLETTE — As summer comes to an end and kids are back in school, the end of tourism season is nearing. Traditional tourism, that is.

The season for sports tournaments is just beginning.

Just in the past five or six years, sports tourism has grown in Gillette, thanks to the support of the community and local governments. It’s brought visitors and tax revenue into the community during parts of the year that otherwise would be slower.

The summer historically has been the peak season in terms of visitors, with people driving through Campbell County on their way to Yellowstone National Park or Mount Rushmore.

But in recent years, sp…….

GILLETTE — As summer comes to an end and kids are back in school, the end of tourism season is nearing. Traditional tourism, that is.

The season for sports tournaments is just beginning.

Just in the past five or six years, sports tourism has grown in Gillette, thanks to the support of the community and local governments. It’s brought visitors and tax revenue into the community during parts of the year that otherwise would be slower.

The summer historically has been the peak season in terms of visitors, with people driving through Campbell County on their way to Yellowstone National Park or Mount Rushmore.

But in recent years, sp…….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.