Hutto Discussion cont: Hutto’s Centennial celebration a bust!

29 Aug

“Hutto’s Centennial celebration held in July nearly broke even, according to organizers who presented the mayor and council members with a check for $40,000 Thursday night to replenish the City’s general fund.

“Centennial organizer and 1911 Foundation board member Jeff Phillips told the council that the attendance figure had been adjusted, and that about 5,500 people were estimated to have attended the three-day event held in July that marked the 100th anniversary of Hutto’s incorporation. Previously, estimates were closer to 6,500. “We didn’t quite break even,” Phillips said as he presented the check to Mayor Debbie Holland.” Courtesy of the Hutto News.

I’m sorry, when the city lays out over $80,000 directly (don’t know if city workers and police time is/was counted) and only gets $40,000 back, and only 5,500 people attend an event with no benefit to city businesses because it was purposely held blocks away from everything commercial, – – that is not a success story. $28,800 came from the Hotel/Motel Tax which is for developing tourism and such – – total waste in that the majority of out of towners came for the evening concerts, did not see Hutto, and few spent any money in town.

Let’s compare that to the Hutto Olde Tyme Days, a great success going into its 26th year, which gets little if any city support, no Hotel dollars, brings 20,000 people who spend money in local businesses, has many local vendors, and in the evening there are up to 8,000 people at the street dance.

If we wanted people to help us celebrate 100 years of existence we should have tied the celebration into OTD, maybe even made it a three day event which would have given us a real boost. I hope we can learn from this when it comes to other events.

Comments welcome

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6 Responses to “Hutto Discussion cont: Hutto’s Centennial celebration a bust!”

  1. Jason Wirth 03/09/2011 at 2:22 am #

    So the city lost money having this event?

    • huttobusinessupdate2011 03/09/2011 at 2:35 am #

      According to reports they were repaid about half of what they gave. Given that only an estimated 5,500 attended this event and that over $100,000 was spent, it seems clear it was not successful and did not benefit the city or the taxpayers in any way.

  2. Jason Wirth 03/09/2011 at 3:31 am #

    They reported the almost broke even. This doesnt sound like they got anywhere close . Thanks for the report.

    • Micah Grau 09/09/2011 at 8:03 pm #

      The City contributed $28,819 in Hotel Occupancy Tax funds. These funds were not expected to be repaid, just as the City doesn’t expect the Chamber to repay Hotel Tax funds used for Old Tyme Days.

      An additional $48,000 was “loaned” from the General Fund. Of this amount, only $44,698 was to be repaid as $3,302 had already been designated in Outside Agency Funding earlier in the year. The 1911 Foundation was able to return $40,000 of this amount. Hope this clears things up.

  3. huttobusinessupdate2011 10/09/2011 at 4:32 am #

    Nothing to clear up. The Hotel Tax funds were wasted – comes to around $7 for every person who came to Hutto and most came for evening concert. That means businesses and restaurants received no benefit.
    The event did manage to get some sponsors who certainly got less than their money’s worth in PR exposure or good will. However, giving that money to support a non-event means that successful events such as Olde Tyme Days, have a harder time securing sponsors just three months later. OTD attracts upwards to 20,000 people, many of whom shop and eat in Hutto, leaving a lot of money in the community.
    Using the same standard as the city used for the Centennial there should be a contribution to the Chamber of around $112,000. Don’t think we’ll see that any time soon. I doubt the city will put much at all into OTD which is really a shame.
    Hutto should be doing a lot more to attract outside money, the tourist dollars, with all kinds of events, but that seems to be an elusive concept. That will take strong leadership, creative thinking and greater community participation, so I suspect we will have to wait a while longer.

  4. MWatt1 04/10/2011 at 3:27 pm #

    It’s disappointing to know the city of Hutto lost money on this event, and that Hutto businesses did not gain business from the festival go-ers. Bummer that the Centennial celebration was NOT a successful event. : (

    I attended the Centennial celebration and it was sooo much fun for the entire family. The people were friendly, the atmosphere was electric, and the bands were outstanding. For the first time ever, our family was able to walk to the music festival from our house. Normally we’d have to travel into Austin and pay for cab, hotel, and food/drink expenses to attend a music festival.

    We’ve lived in Hutto for 10 yrs and we’ve never attended OTD b/c it falls right smack in the middle of football season. In addition, the band lineups at OTD have never been as good as the lineup that was provided at the Centennial celebration. You just can’t go wrong with a line up like Bob Schneider, Vallejo, and Los Lonely Boys. My two cents!

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