Henry Co., VA - The Smith River Sports Complex in Henry County is bringing in more events every year and that means more money to an area that really needs it.In fact, in this fiscal year, they predict they will bring almost $5 million to the local economy.
The complex started off bringing in less than a million dollars to the region, per year. Now, however, they've increased that 5 times over and local businesses really appreciate their events.
The empty fields at the Smith River Sports Complex will not stay quiet for long, however.
"We started with just soccer, now we're up to 11, 12 different sports," said Billy Russo, Director of Operations of Smith River Sports Complex.
The fans of the Complex are not just the ones on the sidelines. They're also spread throughout the region.
"We have a lot of pick up from it. We are very happy it's here," said Tammy Bowles, Director of Sales and Marketing for Quality Inn Dutch Inn. "We all look forward to those events."
The Sports Complex brings more people to the area and more dollars to their businesses.
"We have a few events that we get as many as 100 rooms from," said Bowles.
Which is an increase usually reserved for race weekends. In fact, the Complex calculated a projected $5 million impact to the area for their current fiscal year.
"A formula based on how much people spend on hotels as well as food and gas and shopping," said Russo.
Econimic experts estimate they bring in $150 for every person staying at a hotel or $50 if they're not.
"One of our purposes is to be an economic driver and to help the businesses out locally," said Russo.
The local businesses say the Complex really helps, especially during the quiet months between Martinsville races.
"The speedway is the speedway. Two weekends a year they take over the community, but we try to fill in those other weekends," said Russo.