Poor weather, late blooms limit Azalea Trail impact

Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 23:29 - Written by CASEY MURPHY cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

Because of inclement weather, the Azalea & Spring Flower Trail’s economic impact on the Tyler community was down 35.8 percent this year.

Tim Drain, chairman of the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the annual event had a $1.8 million economic impact on the community.

He told Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors during a meeting Tuesday that this year’s impact was down from past years because of bad weather during two of the three weekends and that late winter weather caused the azaleas to bloom late.

This year’s impact was down 35.8 percent from the $2.8 million impact seen from people attending festivities in 2013.

The Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau released a 2014 Visitor Result Study, showing about 68,770 people attended the trail this year, down from 98,624 last year. Those numbers included attendance analyzed through traffic counts, bus tours, group meetings and sporting events, attractions, azalea trail events and visitors bureau and Rose Garden Visitor Centers.

Of the 68,770 people who attended the trail, about 39,862, or 58 percent, were tourists, the report shows. About 59,563 of the 98,624 people who attended the trails in 2013 were tourists.

Also at the chamber board meeting, Tyler Firefighter Brent Hail talked about the need for sponsors for the ninth annual Brookshire’s Firefighter Combat Challenge, set for Oct. 23 to 25. What has been a regional event will now be a national event and will last three days instead of two. He said he has raised about $21,000 of the $45,000 needed to put on the event, which will have at least twice the competitors.

Chairwoman Rosemary Jones presented Mike Weiss, of Personal Web, with the Volunteer of the Quarter Award for developing Tech for Tyler. She also thanked former Mayor Barbara Bass for her service to the city and the chamber.