Hotter 'N Hell: The Economic Impact

    We all know the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred attracts thousands of cyclists to Wichita Falls, from all over the country.
    And the economic impact of that sudden surge in population ... all the vendors who set up at the MPEC ... all the motels filled to capacity ... has an impact lasting far longer than the four days of the event.
    Katie Crosbie joins us now with more.
    Doug, the convention and visitors bureau did an economic impact study last year and found that Hotter 'N Hell had an economic impact of nearly eight point three million dollars.

The grill at Johnny Carino's will be burning "hotter 'n hell" all weekend, feeding all the hungry riders, and workers know if they can take the heat, they should stay near the kitchen -- cause it'll bring in hot sales.

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*cg 2line Derek Hatcher
Johnny Carino's Manager
"We love it. It's the two busiest days of the year for us.  It's a wonderful time, we have great guests who come back every year, & we look forward to seeing them."

Cyclists -- and lots of them -- will be loading up on carbs to get them through the grueling ride.

"It's a phenomenal feat, the amount of pasta that these gentlemen & ladies can actually eat."
It'll be all hands on deck as restaurants prepare for the onslaught of riders -- business which Derek Hatcher says rivals Valentine's Day profits.

"Everybody leaves late Friday night, everybody's back first thing Friday morning, & we do it all over again."

Tabitha Tardif
Candlewood Suites Director of Sales
"For us, it's kind of like the Superbowl. It's the Superbowl of Wichita Falls. It's once-in-a-lifetime -- but we get it every year! So it's just -- it's huge."

Hotels & motels in Wichita Falls see occupancy rates soar the entire week of Hotter 'N Hell.

"We've already got reservations booked for next year - let alone this year."

So what would the August economy look like without Hotter 'N Hell?

"A lot of hotels, I think, would probably end up having to relocate or change their industrial focus. Because it is a huge impact, it's something that we depend on, that we set our calendars and our budgets around."

Lindsay Greer
W.F. Convention & Visitors Bureau Director
"It's a huge deal. And I don't know - I think sometimes the community itself doesn't realize the impact."

... An impact estimated at 8.3 million dollars ... according to an economic survey conducted last year.

"A lot of em did get out and go to the museums, some went to the water park, some went shopping -- so we were able to actually see where they were spreading out into the community once their event was over."

The Convention & Visitors Bureau will be selling Pride in the Falls t-shirts ...

"We're hoping to let em leave town with Wichita Falls across their chest."

And throughout Texoma, businesses are gearing up for the ride that spins so much cash into the economy.

"With Hotter 'N Hell, it's a chance for us to shine. You know, to show people the things we can do."

    And remember the consumer show starts Thursday afternoon at MPEC ... followed by Friday's big spaghetti feed.  And of course, the nation's largest century ride begins before sunup Saturday.

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