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Visitor spending up 12 percent in Cabarrus County

KANNAPOLIS ó Visitor spending in Cabarrus County rose 12 percent in 2007, according to a new report released by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.
The report shows 2007 county-by-county tourism economic impact estimates and indicates visitor spending in Cabarrus County rose to $275.41 million in 2007, up 12.1 percent compared to 2006.
The numbers were not immediately available for Rowan and surrounding counties.
This rate of increase ranks Cabarrus County’s tourism industry as one of the fastest growing in the state and moves Cabarrus County up from No. 13 to No. 12 in the state in terms of overall visitor spending.
“Over the past 10 years, visitor spending in Cabarrus County has increased an average of 10 percent a year,” DeSales Wagster, president and CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a press release.
“In the past, this growth has been fueled by major attractions, including Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the race shops and Concord Mills. Our unprecedented 12.1 percent increase in 2007 is largely due to the opening of the Concord Convention Center and Embassy Suites Golf Resort Hotel & Spa in January 2007. With a host of new tourism products currently under construction on Bruton Smith Boulevard, we expect to see more dramatic growth in the coming years.”
The state’s annual study, prepared by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), tracks tourism expenditures, payroll, employment, and state and local tax receipts for each N.C. County. The Travel Industry Association reports that in 2007 an estimated 3,500 Cabarrus residents were employed in tourism-related jobs, and visitor activity generated a payroll of $65.58 million. Tourism-related revenues resulted in state and local tax receipts of $15.34 million and $4.56 million, respectively.
The Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a destination marketing organization funded by the transient occupancy tax collected by Cabarrus County hotels. It’s Web site is www.visitcabarrus.com.

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