Estimated impact of 2010 skating event: $26 million

<p>Spokane officials estimate the AT&T 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will generate almost $17 million in direct spending and almost $1.4 million in local and state taxes.</p><p>Throw in a “modest” 1.75 multiplier to account for secondary spending, and the total economic impact comes in at $25.7 million, with tax revenues of $2.3 million, said Gavin Cooley, the city’s chief financial officer.</p><p>“We’ve taken a look at the impact the championships had in Spokane in 2007, and it was significant,” Cooley said. “We expect stronger results from the 2010 event.”</p><p>Next year’s championships will also determine the U.S. competitors at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C., which start just 18 days after the Spokane event concludes.</p><p>Event promoters Barb Beddor and Toby Steward of Star USA noted Cooley’s figures fall in the middle of the $20 million to $30 million estimated for the 2007 championships. But interest will be much higher next year among all Olympic fans, not just the skating community, they said.</p><p>To make sure as many Spokane-area fans as possible – even those without tickets – can participate, Beddor said they are working with city officials to take some FanFest events outside River Park Square, including more fireworks shows.</p><p>“We want to be clear that this event is for everybody,” she said.</p><p>The city estimates tickets and concessions will generate $5.1 million in revenue. Restaurants and hotels will garner $3.34 million and $3.28 million, respectively, in additional business. Add $2 million for other spending, and almost $1 million on rental cars.</p><p>But Beddor and Stewart, who were hoping for a $600,000 state contribution toward event costs, said they are scrambling to backfill the gap after the Legislature whacked that sum to $200,000, then eliminated the appropriation entirely.</p><p>Although staggered, Beddor said, “We’re absolutely certain we will overcome it.”</p>