Here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree leaving Caroline County in today’s edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Meanwhile, Caroline County Economic Development Director Gary Wilson said yesterday that the county wasn’t particularly stung by the loss, because the jamboree was self-contained and didn’t add that much to the local economy.
The jamborees routinely attract 30,000 to 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Despite those numbers, Wilson said the jamborees typically have not left a massive economic footprint on the locality, primarily because the participants tend to arrive in buses, go directly to the military post and stay there.
“We did a study after the last jamboree that indicated the actual increase in sales for a two or three-week period every year was about $815,000,” Wilson said. “Caroline County is not particularly feeling any sting from the loss of the Boy Scouts, frankly. A.P. Hill is hermetically sealed, practically, and we just didn’t get very much out of it.”
First, it’s absolutely amazing that the Economic Development Director considers $815,000 to be chump change. Especially as the county is forcing the Sheriff’s Office to give unpaid furloughs to sheriff’s deputies due to budget cuts.
And here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree after the ACLU successfully sued the Department of Defense on the grounds that the DOD couldn’t constitutionally provide support to the Boy Scouts of America and thus the jamboree couldn’t be held at Fort A.P. Hill (the case has since been successfully appealed and the Boy Scouts could legally hold the jamboree there):
Losing the jamboree would be a serious blow for Caroline, which gets about $1 million in revenue during the event, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director. Events such as model train shows and book fairs are timed to coincide with the jamboree, and local businesses print up promotional material to hand out to Scouts’ families.
Residents work at the event and sell the Scouts raw materials, and guests fill hotels and restaurants.
“Our hotels are booked four years in advance,” Wilson said.
That’s from the July 17, 2005 edition of The Washington Post.
Caroline County, a popular stopover for people visiting Paramount’s Kings Dominion, isn’t expecting a significant increase in visitation this summer. But the numbers should climb next year, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director.
“We’ll also have the 2005 Boy Scout Jamboree,” Wilson said. “That’s always a plus.”
And then there’s this story from WFLS from September 10, 2003:
Having your name on a Boy Scout logo…Priceless.
Soon Boy Scouts everywhere will be recognizing Caroline County.
The organization is changing its international jamboree logo to include a prominent reference to the county. Economic Development Director, Gary Wilson, says by the year 2005, just in time for the next event, every item related to the Boy Scout Jamboree will say Caroline County, Virginia.
Wilson says this is a thank you from the Boy Scout organization
The recognition is expected to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of free marketing for the county.
And going way back to the October 15, 2001 edition of The Free Lance–Star:
Caroline County made more than $1.25 million in food and hotel-room sales during last summer’s National Scout Jamboree, a new report shows.
The total regional economic impact of the jamboree was expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars, officials from Fort A.P. Hill, which hosts the event, said earlier this summer.
Caroline’s gross food sales this July were nearly $1.16 million more than for the same month last year, when no jamboree was held, according to the report.
County hotels earned about $128,000 more than last year.
The report also said that gasoline sales were far above typical for July, and that many local contractors and suppliers of building materials were used to prepare A.P. Hill for the jamboree. Exact figures for these two sectors were not available for the report, Wilson said.