ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With the start of the Iditarod comes the end of another Fur Rondy, and organizers say the preliminary numbers point to a successful year for the winter festival.
Organizers say there were as many as 2,000 spectators at the Outhouse Races and 4,000 at the Running of the Reindeer. Attendance at events like the fireworks show and Miners and Trappers Ball also exceeded expectations.
Fur Rondy executive director John McCleary says all that foot traffic brings a boost to businesses during what would otherwise be a slow time of the year.
“Fur Rendezvous is at that time when businesses are just struggling,” McCleary said. “When you have an event or a festival of 10 to 12 days that comes into town, and that added new energy in terms of dollars and visitation to those businesses, it has to be the best thing for them during this crisis of slow season.”
A study done in 2013 found that the festival had an impact of about $13 million on the local economy. McCleary says they’re planning to commission another study next year to re-quantify that number.