By Ron Munden – February 23, 2020
Josey Ranch is Marshall’s biggest tourism draw. In 2017 the second biggest tourism draw for Marshall was Healthfest. By state definition a tourist is someone who travels more than 50 miles and stays overnight in Marshall. Studies have shown someone that stays overnight spends more than three times as much as a day visitor.
By comparison Josey Ranch’s tourism draw is more that 10 times bigger than Healthfest. But using the same comparison Healthfest’ tourism draw is over 10 times bigger that Wonderland of Lights tourist draw. So, since 2010, nothing other than Josey Ranch has brought more tourists to Marshall. Heathfest 2020 is a big deal for the town.
There is another milestone. Healthfest 2020 will be the first tourist event to be held at the Memorial City Hall Performance Center.
Here are few interesting numbers related to Healthfest:
Between 2012 and 2017 registration grew from 160 to 622.
In 2017 the data shows:
Healthfest Stats for 2017
- Total Registration — 622
- 5K/10K/1 mile Fun Run — 308
- Cities represented — 154
- States represented — 22
- Countries — 2
- From Marshall — 15%
You may be asking — why did the Healthfest not continue in 2018. There are two reasons. First, the organizers Ed and Amanda Smith decided to spend more of their time working on replacing Marshall’s 50-year old animal shelter. Second and just as important, between 2017 and mid-2019 no one in the city could give the wildest estimate as to when the Memorial City Hall renovation would be completed.
All of this is finally behind the city, which means Marshall’s second largest tourist event is coming back to town.
One final number. Registration in 2017 was 622. Registration for the 5K/10K/1-mile Fun Run was 308. I interviewed some of the runners and found that a number of the people who registered for the race were not attending Healthfest but came from Dallas and Houston to run with some of the better-known racers who were featured in the race. Based on this information the total combined registration may have been more than 700.
Heathfest’s return is great news for Marshall on so many levels. It provides outstanding and proven health information and also provides an economic boost to the community.
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