EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – A big event is returning in Columbia County. Commissioners gave their approval earlier this week.
Soon hundreds, possibly thousands of people will be flocking to the BMX track at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans for a series of races.
“Cities that we compete with for these tournaments, they host so many or so many large things, hosting an event like BMX is sort of just another thing for them,” said Columbia County Community Services Director John Luton.
But for some people in Columbia County, hosting USA BMX Gold Cup Championship races is a very big deal.:
Luton said, “This will be the third time that we’re hosting this particular event. It is one of the largest USA BMX does.”
“Our economic impact for that was more than $250,000 for that event in 2018 so obviously we’re expecting that plus some this year,” said Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Shelly Blackburn.
The BMX series is planned for September 24 through September 26. The county will receive all the revenue generated from parking fees and refreshment sales at the event. Luton is expecting more than 500 riders.
He said, “People coming and going throughout the whole time. A lot of times we use the soccer stadium down there to set up some additional areas so people can hang out in between races and stuff. Almost like a tailgate scene.”
Additional seating will be brought to the BMX track for the big event this fall according to Luton. And the parking lots may look similar to a campground during the race series.
Luton added, “We’ve really made a heavy push into sports tourism and when you start stacking some of those events on top of each other on a consistent basis, that’s a significant impact.”
Columbia County commissioners also approved Tuesday for a fishing tournament to be held at Wildwood Park. The Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Nation, Inc. will host an adult/college tournament from October 27 to October 30. They are expecting 200 anglers.
Luton said he and his team will be putting in bids soon for more events to come to Columbia County.