Jun 25, 2014 3:47 PM by Ashlea Bullington
The St. Landry Economic Development voted to spend up to $100,000 by November 1 to find out if they will build a new Equine Center in St. Landry Parish.
Bill Fontenot, the Parish President, told KATC that this project has been in the works for a few years, but due to recent economic development within the parish they have decided to try and go forth with it.
Bill Rodier, Executive Director at St Landry Parish Economic Development, believes that with the large equine presence in St. Landry that the parish could become the Equine Capital of Louisiana.
An economic study by Anthony J. Greco, Ph.D., an economist with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, estimates the project would increase spending in the parish anywhere between $30 million and $100 million in its first year.
Also in his report, it says that a facility like this will never pay for itself. Even if run efficiently, it will probably lose money. Although, the facility would lose money, the parish would gain it in the following: sales taxes, jobs and businesses to the area.
Greco estimated the facility would draw about 75,000 visitors a year. Each visitor would spend about $150 per day during events that often stretch across three or four days, depending on the event. St. Landry Parish officials believe they could hold a multitude of events like concerts and sporting events.
The St. Landry Economic Development has been debating this project for years and with every step in the process it has grown. The initial plan estimated the facility would cost $10 million and stretch over10 acres, but it has now grown to a minimum price tag of $20 million on 200 acres of land.