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Survey says Apple Festival generated $12.5 million

People enjoy the North Carolina Apple Festival on opening day this year. People enjoy the North Carolina Apple Festival on opening day this year.

The North Carolina Apple Festival said Monday this year's festival brought an economic impact of $12.5 million and contributed to the local economy beyond the festival itself.

The Apple Festival hired Looking Glass Strategic Research to interview visitors, report on where visitors came from and calculate the value to the local economy.
Three quarters of festival visitors came from out of town and just over a third were first-time visitors, the report said.
Among other highlights of the report:


  • Among all visitors, 37 percent were first timers and 73.8 percent were non-residents. Among non-Henderson County residents 47.2 percent were attending for the first time.
  • 37,168 of attendees were from Henderson County and attended over 2 days.
  • People plan to come back. 85.5 percent of local people and 70 percent of non-local festival-goers said they planned to attend in 2014.
  • Among out-of-county visitors, 27.8 percent were from Western North Carolina, 28.8 percent were from South Carolina Upstate and 13.9 percent were from the Charlotte area.
  • Out-of-town visitors said only 35.3 percent of what they spent overall would be spent at the Festival. "The out-of-town attendees do more for the Henderson County economy than just spend money at the Festival," the report said.
  • 76 percent of out-of-town attendees said they are more likely to visit Henderson County again because they attended the festival.

Among the festival features, fresh apples and other apple treats ranked higher on a scale of 1-5, at 4.65. Other rankings were food and beverage, 4.39; arts and crafts, 4.34; children activities, 4.33; entertainment, 4.07. The overall rating was 4.53.