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Week of balloon events a cash cow for East Texas cities

Week of balloon events a cash cow for East Texas cities

POSTED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 7:40pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 7:44pm

Balloons soaring over Gregg County this week won’t just fill the skies — they’ll help fill area cash registers.

Tourists and trade associated with two major balloon competitions this week will boost sales tax revenues by about $62,900, officials said, with more than $400,000 in sales, research shows.

The week-long fiesta includes the 36th Great Texas Balloon Race and the second year in Longview for the the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship. Both draw competitors, pilots, crews and balloon fans from across the nation. Each of those represents food, lodging and other sales.

“The balloon race has always been a big tourist draw for the city,” said Longview Mayor Jay Dean. “Now that we are actually the national finals, that has just enhanced those tourism dollars.”

Continue reading this story from KETK newspaper partner the Longview News-Journal here.

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