Town Toyota Center: $6.5M economic impact

Town Toyota Center
going WILD!
Town Toyota Center's most important and lucrative tenant - the Wenatchee Wild, just finished another "Wild-ly" successful season.
TTC's Mark Miller
Town Toyota Center's Mark Miller chats with the WBJ while the Zamboni cleans the ice below in anticipation of another Wenatchee Wild hockey game.

Town Toyota Center General Manager Mark Miller said that he is "satisfied" with the final balance sheet from the 2016 season. "This is not meant to be a 'cash cow' business," Miller said in response to the normal profit and loss business model.
Liking the venue to a "glorified city park," Miller said the quality of life of the Wenatchee community was enhanced by the diversity of events, entertainment and activities hosted by the Center. Those events included every demographic from children to the substantial Hispanic population. The "best selling" general audience event such as the "Hell on Hooves" rodeo and the much tamer, but equally choreographed figure skating spectacles and competitions. The TTC saw rock musicians, percussion instrumentalists and comedians.
"People ask me if I ever met Cheryl Crow (pop singer) or Jeff Dunham (puppeteer/comedian) and I say, 'sure I have' ...when I handed them their checks after their shows," Miller said.
Besides bringing top industry acts to Town, Miller also points to the $6.5 million economic impact, which in a nutshell means, most everyone in Wenatchee and beyond gets a little piece of the pie in one form or another.
Hotels, restaurants, gasoline, convenience stores and the list goes on.
Miller gives a big shout out to the Chelan Public Utility District for the technology needed for the TTC lights to enhance performances and save money by using LED lighting.
The Center also boasts the "largest industrial kitchen in the county," according to Miller and with that added feature the TTC can and does attract events that cannot be accommodated by smaller conference rooms or banquet rooms, the kind normally found in hotels and convention centers. We are adding the TTC as an additional venue for other caterers to hold events if they need more room or if the other rooms in the area are unavailable, Miller said.
Since the $50 million initial expenditure to construct the facility in 2012, the TTC has been able to pay $2 million a year towards that debt and place $1 million in reserves. Only the Public Facilities District board can touch those reserves and won't do so without just cause such as an emergency or major capital expense.
With total retail revenues at $3 million annually, the TTC, under Miller's leadership, often uses around 160 employees as part timers called in to handle big events and they also extend the economic reach.
Miller said one-third of the revenues are directly related to the successful Wenatchee Wild Junior A hockey team, one-third to the many youth events and one-third to other events such as concerts and shows.
Next month will feature a rodeo and "stars on ice" and Miller states he is always "spinning my wheel" looking for acts to cater to a wider demographic.  
For this year, a tourism office with a $300,000 budget will be put into play by the TTC to draw even more visitors from far and wide into the Wenatchee area. Billboards, direct mail and advertising in the tri-city area are all part of the TTC master plan to ensure continued success.
Based on research done by Wenatchee Valley Sports (WVS), in 2016, the average local fan who comes to a Wild hockey game spends on the average $44.81 and the tourist or "out-of-towner" spends $70.56.
Even more is spent on concert show attendees who average $49.78 for locals and $85.15 for tourists. These figures reflect a 12 percent increase over 2015, according to WVS.
"A room night factor computation is used" for events lasting more than one night such as the Apple Ice Classic Figure Skating.
More than $1.2 million was brought in to the TTC last year through ticketed events. The top 10 events and revenues generated were:
• Hell on Hooves (rodeo), $213,214
• U.S. Figure Skating Regionals, $198,739
• Pepe Aguilar (Mexican-American singer-songwriter), $186,463
• Hot Autumn Ice Women's Hockey, $113,926
• Harlem Globetrotters (basketball), 112,263
• Ron White (comedian), $109,822
• Apple Ice Classic, $107,574
• Stomp (musicians, dancers), 104,097
• Cheap Trick (rock musicians), $96,906
• PNAHA Youth Camp, $96,168
Besides the ticketed events listed above with its $1.2 million in revenues, by far the biggest contributor to the TTC coffers was the Wenatchee Wild hockey season with $4.1 million in revenues. So-called non-ticketed events brought in $870,000 for a total of $6,249,143.
"Heads in beds," aka folks who stay in area hotels/motels, saw 3,411 room nights for non-ticketed events. These events included mostly skating and hockey competitions featuring younger athletes and performers.
The overall dollar amount is a bit misleading, but in a positive way as WVS states, "These figures do not include economic potential for some events hosted by Town Toyota Center. There are 10-plus such events that are non-ticketed, have significant attendance, but have no foundation for measurement. While there is an obvious community and economic benefit to these events, tools to accurately estimate their impact are not available."
Those events include a variety of consumer and trade shows such as the various recreational/sportsmen's exhibitions.
For more information about the rest of the TTC season, call 866-973-9611 or go to towntoyotacenter.com. The arena is located at 1300 Walla Walla Ave. in Wenatchee.

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