Based on an average used by the commission and developed by the Kentucky Department of Travel, Stevens said the event brought in over $187,000 to the county.
“That doesn’t include people that came in earlier than Thursday,” Stevens said. The event started on Thursday and ended Sunday.
Stevens said he spoke with event coordinators and said they were pleased with the event, which increases the likelihood of UKC, Treeing Walker or other organizations returning to the county for more events.
“They talked about having another event like this and possibly something with more of a local field,” Stevens said. “Everything was done in a manner that was pleasing to them, so we have a shot at enticing them to come back.”
Competitors from several states attended the regional event, which included three nights of coon hunts and bench shows.
Stephen Audas of Cadiz, who served as a local organizer for the event, said he first approached the Trigg County Recreation Committee about the event about six months ago and helped book rooms for the event.
“A month before the event, every hotel room in Trigg County was taken,” Audas said. “If [the Recreation Committee] will get in contact with the campgrounds here, they could fill them up, too.”
These hunts tend to be treated as family events, Audas said, which typically means hunters are bringing family members who will spend time and money in the communities hosting the event.
“It might take two or three years to get it built up, but an event like this could pay the expenses for [the recreation complex] for a year,” Audas said. “It’s a money-maker, and I hope to see it come back.”
Larry Wilhelm of Genoa, Ohio, came to Cadiz for the hunt and echoed Audas’ statements about the family nature of these hunts.
“We go to one or two a month,” Wilhelm said. “Coon hunting isn’t as popular as it used to be, so we try to go to support the different clubs and to help get youth involved. We’d like to see it go on.”
Todd Kellam, UKC vice president of hunting programs, said Cadiz is an attractive area for hunts.
“There are several concerns when choosing a location, and one is that [clubs] like to move them around the country so they come close to different members’ areas,” Kellam said. “We look for good coon club support because we need guides. Good coon population is a plus, and we need accomodations for visitors.”
Kellam said attendance last weekend appeared to be comparable with most other events he’s seen.
Kellam said communication between clubs could increase the chances of Cadiz hosting another big hunt.
“When a club goes to a new area, if they have a successful event, you’ll see other breed associations come to that town,” Kellam said. “Others will come here if it’s proven to be a good area. If they get community support, that’s huge. ”