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Pahrump Fall Festival draws tourists

The Pahrump Fall Festival, formally known as the Harvest Festival, appears to be just as popular to those outside of the Pahrump Valley.

Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Erwin said he’s learned that many individuals and families visit Pahrump exclusively for the Fall Festival each year at Petrack Park.

“It definitely does bring interest from outside of our community,” Erwin said. “I think it is two-fold because we definitely spend money marketing in the southwest of the Las Vegas Valley and other locations because we know that we do get people coming in from out of town. I know that Pahrump’s tourism department has been focused on doing surveys to actually find out the numbers.”

Economic impact

As a result of those visitors coming into town, Erwin said the action gives Pahrump a distinct economic boost.

“The bottom line is, we do believe that the Pahrump Fall Festival does create an economic impact with not only hotels but also people buying fuel and going to our restaurants,” he noted. “The Highway 160 corridor, gets a lot of traffic, plus

the vendors here make money selling their goods and wares to the visitors.”

Nye County District Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen said he concurs with Erwin’s conclusion.

Schinhofen, who also is a musician, plans to perform at 2:30 p.m. today.

“By definition, I think it has to,” he said. “I hear that some of the resorts here in town are booked. Over the years when I walked the festival grounds, I saw a whole bunch of people who are not locals. I have talked to people in the past who told me they are from out of town. I think it does bring in tourism to our community. It is also a great venue for local charities and businesses to sell their goods. Within the community, the Pahrump Fall Festival is known as the big outdoor event of the year.”

Crowd-pleaser

Additionally, Schinhofen said the Pahrump Fall Festival appears to be the most popular public event hosted by the town.

“It does turn out more people than many other events here in town, and I’ve certainly been involved in those other events over the years,” he noted. “It also arrives at the right time of year. I think moving the annual Wild West Extravaganza to the spring was a good idea because it was right after the Pahrump Fall Festival. It seemed that a lot of people went out to enjoy the Fall Festival, but the following week for the Wild West Extravaganza, not many showed up.”

The numbers

Erwin, meanwhile, said he would like to gain more information on out-of-town visitors, from area resorts and businesses.

“We’re really hoping that our lodging partners here in town, will become a little more open to sharing information and data,” he said. “We are not currently getting that right now from all of our lodging partners, but we hope that we can. All of the vendors here are required to file a sales tax form at the end of this event. They are all paying taxes on the revenue that they generate. Bottom line, I would say the Pahrump Fall Festival definitely brings in tourists from out of town.”

Though the Fall Festival got underway on Thursday, the official kickoff is on Saturday when the ever-popular parade begins at 9 a.m.

This year’s grand marshal is KPVM-TV News Director and Anchor Deanna O’Donnell.

“Vern Van Winkle, the station owner, called me and told me that I was selected,” she said. “I was very moved and very honored to be selected as this year’s parade grand marshal. Usually, it’s a local politician, and I can’t believe that I was selected over our fire chief, Scott Lewis. I posted on my Facebook page, that those who actually saves people’s lives, should be considered before me. I was also touched by a lot of people’s comments on Facebook. Hopefully, I will get the grand marshal wave down perfectly.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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