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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Running turns out to be good for Fort Worth’s economic health

Running can be a good thing for health, but for Fort Worth, it can also be good for economic health,, to the tune of $10.4 million annually.

The Cowtown, North Texas’ largest multi-race running event, has an estimated annual economic impact of $10.4 million, according to a study recently released by the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It’s not just local sales of athletic shoes. The number represents the impact created by bringing both overnight visitors and day visitors from outside the Fort Worth city limits to join in the fun. It also takes into account how much The Cowtown spends locally to put on the event. The study was customized specifically for Fort Worth, using local tax rates and average prices.

“We host many major events and the Cowtown Marathon consistently produces a large economic impact every year, benefitting all the citizens of the City of Fort Worth,” said Josh Dill, director of sports marketing for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Cowtown weekend of six distance races, next to be run Feb. 24-26, 2017, will celebrate its 40th year in 2018. It currently employs five salaried full-time employees and three part-time employees. It manages 4,300 volunteers annually to produce the weekend event, which now attracts some 28,000 runners from across Texas, the U.S. and internationally. There’s also a nonprofit impact. The Cowtown’s charity, the Cowtown C.A.L.F. Program, impacts some 18,000 youth in the community each year, bringing running training to schools across Fort Worth, as well as race entry fee grants and new running shoes to qualifying children in need.

The Cowtown also has announced the election of four new members and one ex-officio member to its Board of Directors, as well as new officers. Elected to two-year Board terms are: Jon Bonnell, Bonnell Restaurant Group; J.D. Granger, Executive Director, Trinity River Vision Authority; Rosa Navajar, President, The Rios Group, Inc.; and Kristin Dickerson, Anchor/Reporter, NBC 5/KXAS- TV. Cowtown Medical Director Darrin D’Agostino, DO, MPH, MBA, UNT Health Science Center, was named an ex-officio director. Officers for the new fiscal year are: Jeremy Pruett, Attorney, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., president; Jay Iorizzo, Director of Campus Recreation, Texas Christian University, vice-president; and Marc Weaver, Regional Finance Manager, MillerCoors, treasurer.

The Cowtown headquarters has also recently announced its move to a larger space, at 2717 Whitmore, in Fort Worth’s new Foundry district. Cowtown is leasing approximately 10,000 square feet to house its corporate offices, retail space and race headquarters. A public open house at the new site is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to noon.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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