Cancelation of Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show predicted to cost the city millions of dollars

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:14 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - One of Amarillo’s biggest events would typically be taking place around this time of year, but because of COVID-19 not only is the event canceled, but Amarillo is expected to lose millions of dollars because of it.

The Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show typically attracts nearly 30,000 attendees and generates around $3.5 million for the city.

“We’re going to see a pretty big impact from this. It’s something we’re expecting,” said Hope Stokes, director of marketing at Amarillo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That impact isn’t a positive one.

“It is about a $3.5 million impact of direct spending on our economy. So, that’s without all the multipliers. That’s walk into a shop, walk into a restaurant. Cash in hand, card in hand,” said Stokes.

That’s how much the city of Amarillo is expected to lose by not having the Farm & Ranch Show this year.

It comes at a time when some small businesses are already hurting.

“Right now, I think that we really need to ban together as a community and support those mom and pop shops,” said Stokes.

The Farm and Ranch Show wasn’t canceled entirely.

“It is important for our producers in this area,” said Megan Eikner, county extension agent, agriculture and natural resources, Potter County.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension still held a virtual seminar today.

“It is important for those applicators to keep up with their continuing education units because of they don’t then they will lose their license and have to start over with that process,” said Eikner.

Even with virtual attendance lower than in the past, there is still a positive outcome to the seminar.

“I do think our outreach was larger than typically for the in person event. So yeah, there may be a silver lining there,” said Eikner.

Stokes says the Farm & Ranch Show isn’t going away because of the cancellation this year and the show is booked in Amarillo through 2024.

“There’s a lot of education that can happen in in-person events. We would really love to see it go back to an in-person event,” said Eikner.

“If Amarillo can do anything, we can get through hard times. We’ve done it in the past. We always ban together, and we come out better on the other side. So, this is just another one of those challenges,” said Stokes.

Both Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and the Amarillo Convention and Visitors Bureau say they are looking forward to next year and hopefully being in person once again.

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