By John Zaktansky
The Daily Item
Welcoming literally thousands of people to the region from as far away as Great Britain, the annual state trapshoot at the Valley Gun & Country Club definitely has an economic impact on the local region.
We’ll soon have a better idea of just how big a boost it provides to the Valley thanks to an economic impact study provided by Bloomsburg University in cooperation with the state shoot and the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau.
“The visitors bureau and the leadership of the shoot wanted to know the general satisfaction of the shoot and the spending patterns of those who participate,” said Dr. Heather S. Feldhaus, associate professor of sociology at Bloomsburg University. “We will have Bloomsburg University students at the shoot all day Friday asking questions and gathering information.”
Friday’s events at the state shoot include the Krieghoff Challenge, which annually draws the largest crowd — last year the event boasted 1,238 shooters according to Tom Austin, media director for the state trapshoot.
“This will be more of an educational thing from our point of view,” said David “Otto” Kurecian, executive director of the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau. “Usually people will see a manufacturing firm coming to town and they get how that can have an economic impact. But sometimes an event will happen and they don’t see or understand just how it can be an economic engine for the region.”
The process for the survey on Friday will be as simple and nonintrusive as possible, according to Feldhaus.
“We have a questionnaire with standard sorts of questions for this type of research, such as where the people come from and where they are staying if they are spending the night such as by camping, hotels or with family or friends,” she said. “Unlike with previous studies where we take answers with paper and pencil, this will all be done via iPads. It should be quick, easy and fairly accurate when we compile the data.”
Other questions people can expect at the state shoot Friday according to Feldhaus include what drew them to the shoot, how many years they’ve attended, what are their favorite things about the event, how much they anticipate spending onsite vs. offsite, where they plan to go for entertainment, food and other things, etc.
“When people walk into the event, we’ll have a table plus there will be students roaming around in their Bloomsburg T-shirts and gear,” Feldhaus said.
Information from the study will be available in several months and will be directed through the visitors bureau and shoot officials.
“For our purposes, we’re really excited to see what the spending habits are,” Kurecian said. “We will have a better idea on numbers of dollars and where they’re being spent — and that can be used for so many things, such as helping businesses get involved in that process, building partnerships and helping the region better know just what is going on each year during the state trapshoot.”
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