Victoria Livestock Show contributes to local economy
A look at the Victoria Livestock Show's grand champion steer prices in recent years:
Source: Auction papers
The Victoria Livestock Show officially came to its end with an auction Monday night, which means the barnyard animals have cleared the Victoria Community Center, the pens are gone and participants have resumed their daily lives.
But that doesn't mean the show's effects are over, too.
Organizers, community leaders and entrepreneurs say the Victoria Livestock Show brings an economic impact to the Crossroads each year.
About 20,000 people make their way to the community center throughout the stock show's duration, said Randy Vivian, president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. That includes participants, vendors, friends and more.
"This show has a tremendous impact," he said. "It's great for the community it serves and for the participants involved."
The money people spend on food, lodging and other miscellaneous costs contributes to sales tax revenues, the hotel/motel tax and more, Vivian said.
Best Western on Zac Lentz Parkway rented out about three rooms to people who ventured to town for the show, said Ashlee Laurel, a hotel employee. Although the increase wasn't extreme, she said it always helps.
"That's three rooms we wouldn't have normally had," she said. "And, for the weekend, it was good."
Neil Guayante owns Guayava Imports, a business that sells handbags, clothing and more, mostly imported from Guatemala. This was his first year as a vendor at the Victoria show, and he said he attended because it was something to fill space between other shows.
The Beaumont resident rented a hotel room throughout his stay but tried to cut costs in other ways.
"I bring along a little refrigerator and Lean Cuisine meals when I can," he said. "You can spend a lot, going from town to town at these shows. So it helps."
Crossroads resident Brian Shaver also manned a booth, selling picture frames, keychains, signs and more. The show was a chance to make a little extra money in a down economy, said Shaver, who owns Dore's Wood Ideas.
"A big flow of people come through here, and it's a way to get some publicity," he said, perched at a seat in his booth. "Business usually slows down in the winter, so this helps kick start things."
Many show participants live out in the county and go to Victoria's restaurants while in town for the show, said Teresa Moormon, the show's auction chair.
"That's something people might not do all the time if they live in the county," she said. "So, while they're here, they take advantage of the businesses."
The auction itself has its own effects, she said, explaining 2011's auction brought in $509,950.
The money goes to show participants to use how they choose. While many participants planned to stow it away for college or next year's animals, others had different plans.
Sierra Robles, for instance, hopes to use the $5,000 her reserve champion hog brought in to purchase a car even though, at 14, she admits she can't get one right away.
"It will be a little while," she said with a smile.