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Shelbyfest to rev-up Hermann-area economy soon,Mustang Owners Dream show!
Everything that the Shelbyfest did for Hermann last year, promoter Kyle Caraway hopes to do in greater measure in the Fourth Annual Shelbyfest Fri., Apr. 23 and Sat., Apr. 24. There will be a breakfast event on Sun., Apr. 25, as well.
Caraway expects 2010 Shelbyfest to attract more high-performance Ford Shelbys and Mustangs, in turn bringing more lodging guests, who will be spending more time in Hermann -- and who are expected to spend more money.
In the 2009 (third annual) Shelbyfest, 215 cars registered to display on the streets of Hermann, and before the end of the show, 260 showed-up. All were allowed to join the columns of cars on display.
Caraway's goal for this year is a total of 350 to 400 cars. If 400 cars show up in Hermann this year, that would be a 54 percent increase in the size of the show in one year.
There are signs that the show in April is indeed going to be big. In an interview earlier this month, Caraway already had 140 registrations in hand, knowing that registrations pick-up the closer the event gets. Another harbinger of growth for this year's show is that the number of states supplying registrants has swelled to 20.
Saturday will continue to be the biggest day of the event, but this year Caraway is planning a much bigger production for Friday night. In past years, the Friday night activities were largely checking into one's room and settling in. (You've never seen such lines for Hermann's car washes!)
But this year, Caraway and Hermann Tourism Director Jim Grebing are planning a relatively large show at the Clara Eitmann Mesmer Amphitheater for the Friday night kick-off this year. In addition to being a part-time car show promoter, Caraway also happens to be in a band. A very good band, called Blues de Ville. Caraway and Grebing are planning a Blues de Ville concert to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Caraway hope to raise $10,000 if 2,000 people -- out-of-town Shelby owners and Hermannites alike -- voluntarily donate $5.00 each.
Caraway intends this year to be much more involved in where Shelby owners book their rooms at area B&Bs and motels. Said Caraway, "I hope to have much more impact on the lodging industry here than we did last year."
Last year's impact on Hermann's restaurant trade was considerable. One local restaurant located on the streets lined with high-performance cars reported brisk sales all day. Another restaurant told this reporter that it's the first time the restaurant ever flat-out ran out of food.
Grebing said of Shelbyfest, "We're excited about it. We've gone out looking for niche markets. One is cycling. Car shows are another market that is huge, potentially. They have good networks and websites. We think this is a niche market that could really get huge.
"Also, the publicity they get," Grebing continued. "When they promote a show in Hermann, that's good for us. Plus, they attract visiting press. Plus the photos that go out. All we need is onr of two nice shots of those Shelbys in Hermann's downtown."
As powerful the impact could be of the 2010 Shelbyfest being up to 50 percent bigger than 2009's, the real importance of 2010 Shelbyfest could be how it sets-up a 2011 Shelbyfest that would tax the imagination of many local businesspeople. Caraway told CountyNewsLIVE.com, "With the corporate support that we're gathering this year... If we pull this year off and do it in a quality fashion. Keep the community of Hermann happy... You know, 2011 is my five-year anniversary show. I'm working on some mind-bending things already for 2011. But part of me being able to pull all that off is going to be doing this year well."
Grebing considers Caraway a great partner for promoting Hermann. Said Grebing, "He's certainly passionate about the Shelbyfest. What I like is that he and the people who are working with him recognize Hermann is a good place, but they also feel a responsibiity to be a good steward of city property, and good to the local citizens."
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