Direct spending by visitors for sales, races, generated $351 million
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2015) — In 2014 Keeneland had a $590 million impact on Lexington and Fayette County, according to a study by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research, Gatton College of Business and Economics, in conjunction with Keeneland.
The study found that Keeneland’s Spring and Fall race meets represented $123 million in direct spending and $200 million in total economic impact. Participant expenditures at Keeneland’s four annual horse sales combined to generate more than $228 million in direct spending and more than $390 million in total economic impact.
Last year 6,365 horses were sold for more than $534 million during the 13-day September Yearling Sale, 11-day November Breeding Stock Sale, four-day January Horses of All Ages Sale and one-day April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
The track conducts racing an average of 32 days a year (15 days in April and 17 days in October). Keeneland will host the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, a 13-race event worth $26 million to be held Oct. 30-31.
The study also found:
- More than half of the 251,574 attendees at the 2014 Fall Meet traveled to Fayette County for the primary purpose of attending the races at Keeneland.
- Visitors traveled from at least 41 states other than Kentucky to attend the Fall Meet.
- More than two-thirds of the 192,000 Kentuckians at the Fall Meet live outside Fayette County and traveled to Lexington for the primary purpose of attending the Fall Meet.
- Visitors who came to Lexington for the primary purpose of attending the Fall Meet spent more than $19 million on food and beverages, more than $15 million on lodging, more than $12 million on retail purchases and more than $9 million on gasoline in Lexington.
- Direct spending by visitors to the Fall Meet accounted for more than $900,000 in local taxes through the hotel tax and more than $3.9 million in state taxes.
- Approximately 20 percent of groups participating in the September Yearling and November Breeding Stock sales were from outside the U.S. while another 45 percent were from states other than Kentucky.
- Commissions derived from sales involving at least one participant outside Fayette County totaled more than $20 million.
- Sales to buyers outside Kentucky from sellers in Fayette County totaled more than $167 million.
- Participants in the September and November sales spent more than $9 million on food and beverages and more than $6 million on hotel accommodations in Lexington.
- Hotel tax revenue to Fayette County and the state of Kentucky from the September and November sales are both more than $400,000.
- Sales tax on food and beverages during the September and November sales total more than $500,000.