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2011 Workshop has Local Economic Impact

2011 NAPWDA Georgia Fall State Workshop Huge Success K-9 workshop has local economic impact.

by Amanda Thomas/Douglas County Sentinel

Although an exact dollar amount on the economic impact of last week?s K-9 certification workshop isn?t available, a county official described it as being substantial considering there were 112 people registered for the event.

Ninety-four K-9 teams were in the city Oct. 2-7 for the 2011 North American Police Work Dog Association Georgia State Workshop, which was hosted by the Douglas County Sheriff?s Office There were 18 NAPWDA master trainers and trainers at the workshop that covers apprehension work, explosives detection, tracking and cadaver work, according to Lt. Michael Barnhill.

Wes Tallon, Douglas County communications and community relations director, said presence of those attendees made a significant impact on the local economy. ?They stayed in a hotel,? Tallon said. ?They ate food. [Last] Wednesday night, they went bowling... They filled up their cars with our gasoline.?

He noted that it?s proven that every dollar spent in a business recycles three times. ?Therefore, there was an impact that will resound through the community,? he said. ?Let?s say that they went to Johnny?s Pizza on Chapel Hill Road or any pizza restaurant and they bought $10 dollars worth of food. Not only is that going to benefit that business, but that business bought food ingredients from someone else. That restaurant also paid their staff.?

Tallon then went back to his example involving stops to the gas station. ?Quite often when you go into a gas station, you go inside and you get a Coke or something like that ... so it does multiply,? he said.

Attendees also stayed at local hotels that accepted animals, which Tallon noted isn?t the norm. ?But these hotels understood this ... and of course these are highly trained dogs,? he said. ?They?re not going to have accidents.?

Another way the local economy was impacted was through the T-shirts given to those who registered. ?Part of the registration fee went to the T-shirt, which was done by a local business so, therefore, there was that multiplier in there,? Tallon said.

He noted that events like conventions and conferences are a good thing for a local economy. ?This is the first chance that we had to host this and we?ve already found out that they want to have it here again next year,? he said. ?We can have it up to three years in a row is my understanding and then it needs to move somewhere else.... We?ve already heard that they loved it. They loved our venues. Everything that was going on went extremely well.?

Tallon noted that dogs have to get re-certified each year. ?The good thing is that with such a positive experience of this past week, next year most likely, more people will come and so you have even more of an impact,? he said.

Sunday, the Boundary Waters Aquatic Center hosted its ?Last Chance? triathlon, which also contributed to the local economy. It?s called last chance because it?s the last triathlon of the North Georgia season. ?It brings in athletes from all over the state of Georgia,? Tallon said. ?It?s more like a one-day impact as opposed to a one-week impact that the K-9 conference was. It?s more like they come in and then they leave. But they still got to buy gas. They still got to eat ... so there is an impact when we host things like that.?

He also pointed out that the Douglas County High School Class of 1986 had its reunion last weekend at The Centre at Arbor Connection on Douglas Boulevard. ?That brought in a lot of people,? Tallon said. ?There are a lot of little things, because we don?t have a lot of big facilities to host major things. But we have a lot of smaller events that bring in an impact on our economy in that way.?

The City of Douglasville?s October fest on Oct. 22 is expected to bring in a number of people to downtown Douglasville. The event will feature a Moonlight Run and Chili Cook-off. ?We don?t have a World Congress Center or something like that where we would be bringing in a national convention,? Tallon said. ?We don?t have those kind of facilities so we have smaller things that have a shorter impact, but they still have an impact on our local economy.?

Read more: Times-Georgian - K 9 workshop has local economic impact