Tue, July 23

The cost of canceling

Seeing that the 19th annual Cottonwood Airplane, Auto and Cycle Show at the municipal airport brings in anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 attendees, it may not surprise that members of the chamber of commerce, city officials and others in the community are disappointed to hear of its cancellation.

"Anytime you cancel an event that can generate revenue and excitement for the community, it is a problem," Cottonwood Economic Planner Casey Rooney said.

Wayne "Butch" Hunt, who has been organizing the event since its inception, said the show attracts thousands of attendees and more than 100 entrants into the annual judge's competition.

And, although the event is not a moneymaker for the airport, it does stimulate business in the community and raises money for the local chapter of the Civil Air Patrol.

"It pays for itself, but it gets people into the community," Butch said. "People who ride in, fly in or whatever are going to stay the night here at the hotels and go to the restaurants."

Al Comello, who handles public relations at the Sedona Airport, said the car and airplane event in Sedona only brings in enough money to offset costs, but it is "an economic generator for the city."

The dollars that circulate in the community is only part of it, Rooney said.

"It's not only the money," he said. "People come to the community and bring relatives from across the country that are interested in an event. Then, if it is canceled, the interest is gone -- it disappeared. It's not only the dollars that would have been brought in that you're missing, but you're losing future business by people not coming back."

The chamber of commerce sponsors the event. Assistant Director Donna Schmidt said efforts will be made to have the event next year.

"We're disappointed," Chamber President Margie Beach said. "[The event] has been around for quite some time. But there were challenges that made it difficult this year."