Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Ends Up Being an Economic (Horse) Powerhouse

Scottsdale has a well deserved reputation for being an international tourist destination. Aside from the amenities that tourists and regulars alike can enjoy, there are also quite a few truly special events that make it stand out amongst its brother and sister cities within the Valley.

One of those events is the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Arizona’s cornerstone of equestrian heritage since 1955. It has since grown to an 11 day affair showcasing over 2,400 horses. And due to a recent study from CH Johnson Consulting, we now understand how much of an economic impact this annual event has on the city of Scottsdale.

The annual event has a staggering direct impact of nearly $100 million per year! That said, thi doesn’t even include the multiplier effect inherent in economics, which would put the economic impact in the $300 million range. This is in addition to the $986,000 generated in tax revenue to the city of Scottsdale as per a 2006 study, which when adjusted for inflation equates to $1.4 million in today’s dollars. Lastly, not included is the additional benefit that the incredible event has regarding sparking investment into farm and ranch purchases across Scottsdale and the Valley.

How did the consultants arrive at this eye-popping economic impact number? First, the 11-day event features gala parties, equestrian education seminars, an international cuisine court, and more than 2,000 horses, 4,500 stalls, and 250 vendor booths offering everything from lavish jewelry, clothing, and works of art; all of these offer ample opportunities for tourists and locals alike to inject money into the local economy.

Also, the demographics of horse owners, presenters and attendees alike paint a picture of spending power. More than 10% of attendees have incomes exceeding $250,000 per year, as are over 20% of exhibitors and 40% of horse owners. Additionally, 48% of the over 300,000 attendees are from out-of-state and 3.4% from outside the country.

The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is an incredibly dynamic event, one of the types that makes Scottsdale a national and even international destination for tourism. But more than that, it is the sort of economic driver that helps make our city world-class for those of us who are lucky enough to live here. We are truly fortunate to have numerous such events in this brilliant city we call home. Now that’s our kind of horsepower!