With between 7,000 and 8,000 people visiting downtown for Krist Kindl Markt and another 6,500 attending the Heart of Texas Bowl, Copperas Cove had a busy weekend.
“It was a great, successful weekend for Copperas Cove,” said Betty Price, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. “A lot of businesses benefit when events like this are held in the city.”
Polo Enriquez, executive director of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, said these events generate extra revenue for area businesses as more people shop and dine. That spending also means more sales tax revenue to help the city and the corporation.
“Fins and Flowers, which is going through a rebranding, said they had the best weekend ever,” said Price about the downtown store’s benefit from the Krist Kindl Markt traffic.
Texas Rose, a gift and collectable store on Avenue D, saw several more customers this weekend as well.
With two football games happening across U.S. Highway 190 at Bulldawg Stadium, the chamber tried to entice HOT Bowl-goers to attend the festival by providing maps from the city’s hotels.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 attended the first football game, a junior college matchup, and about 3,500 people saw the second NCAA Division II game, said Jack Welch, Copperas Cove Independent School District athletic director and founder of the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl.
“It was even better than we anticipated. We had a really good crowd,” Welch said.
While each game didn’t fill stands like local Bulldawg football games do, the crowds were fairly large for what each college team typically draws, he said.
The HOT Bowl games filled up Copperas Cove hotels, with some overflow to Killeen, Welch said. Of the four teams in the football games, three stayed in the area multiple nights.
“It is hard to tell if they were attracted to the festival or not,” Price said, noting tourists can look like residents. “We did, however, see some of the people wearing the HOT Bowl T-shirts in the downtown area.”
Regardless of how many bowl attendees visited Krist Kindl Markt, the vendors and downtown stores experienced a boom in business, she said.
While Enriquez and Price said the event was a success, its financial impact won’t be known until February when sales tax figures are released by the state.