TWINSBURG — The annual Twins Days Festival provides a big enough boost to the local economy that it’s worth a double take.
The event, which attracts thousands of twins and others to Twinsburg, generated more than $5.4 million for the local economy last year, a new study says.
“The economic impact of the Twins Days Festival is quite considerable due to its ability to attract out-of-town visitors,” Kent State University associate professor of economics Shawn Rohlin said June 25 in a prepared statement. “Although the Twins Days Festival is a wonderful event for locals, its appeal to so many non-local visitors helps bring new money to the local economy.”
Given the size of the local economy, Rohlin said the impact “is quite substantive.” He noted that the economic impact for the Akron Marathon in 2014 was $6.3 million.
Rohlin, who conducted the study after being contacted by Twins Days organizers, estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 people attend Twins Days each year, providing a big economic impact not only for Twinsburg but also surrounding areas.
The study estimated that non-local twin attendees spent more than $1.5 million at the 2018 event, and other non-local visitors contributed more than $3.8 million to the local economy.
Rohlin said 76 percent of non-local visitors said they spent an average of $150 at restaurants; an average of $429 at hotels; $106 on entertainment; $135 on other retail and $48 at grocery/drug stores.
Twins Days — cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Largest Annual Gathering of Twins in the World” — began in 1976 with a gathering of 36 multiples.
The event features a parade, contests, talent show, entertainment, fireworks and other activities. This year, it will take place Aug. 2-4.
“Having organized this event for 43 years, the festival committee always felt strongly that the festival has had an economic impact on the local economy and surrounding areas, but to see actual numbers is very reassuring and gratifying for us,” Twins Days Executive Director Andrew Miller said in a prepared statement.
“We are thrilled that the festival brings a financial benefit to the local community in addition to providing fundraising dollars to local school and non-profit groups.”
Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, called Twins Days an iconic event that has a significant impact on the community.
“We often assume that when visitors come from outside the area they stay at hotels, buy gas, eat in our restaurants and make retail purchases and that it adds up, but this study certainly showcases and quantifies those numbers and that thought process,” he said.
Summit County’s overall travel and tourism industry had a $1.59 billion economic impact in 2017, according to a previous study. Nearly 16,750 people worked in the travel and tourism industry in the county at the time.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.