HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Early registration numbers show Crusin' the Coast is headed for another success this year. Leaders with the organization appeared before Harrison County supervisors at Monday's board meeting, seeking financial support.
This is year 21 for the popular car show in early October. And while Harrison County supervisors voiced support, they did have some questions about the finances.
"Our little car show has grown up a good bit," Cruisin' the Coast Executive Director Woody Bailey told Harrison County supervisors.
It's grown into a major tourist attraction with some impressive economic horsepower.
"$26.1 million to the three coast counties and then when you include the state overall, it's $28.6 million. At present we have, at the end of June, we have 4,093 people that have registered for Crusin the Coast. That's about 240 ahead of last year," said Bailey.
"I want to add one more number, and it was the sales tax revenue generated by Cruisin' the Coast. Gulf coast it was $998,000. Statewide, it was over a million dollars," said Cruisin' Chairman Chevis Swetman.
Supervisors voiced support for the event but raised some concerns about the requested $15,000 donation from the county. Some wondered why registration fees couldn't fund the event; others brought up that sales tax impact.
"Yet the cities are going to benefit when it comes down to their budgets, they're going to benefit from the sales tax. We're not getting that," said Supervisor, Marlin Ladner.
"We have operating expenses just like any other business. Insurance. We pay for port-a-lets, we pay for stages, we pay for sound. Security," Bailey told the board.
"Most of your events with Cruise Central is in Harrison County. These people are gambling, eating in the restaurants, staying in the hotels," said Supervisor Beverly Martin.
"We appreciate what you do for us to help make this happen. And we hope you look at this as an investment, not a donation," said Swetman.
Investment or donation, in the end, supervisors agreed the county will contribute $10,000 to this year's Cruisn' the Coast.