The Event at Rebecca Farm, the largest equestrian triathlon in the U.S. each summer, brought in an estimated $5.5 million in economic revenue to the Flathead Valley in 2016, according to a study completed by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.
The report shows the annual multi-day event, which draws many of the top equestrian riders in the world to the 640-acre property in West Valley, saw a 25 percent increase in economic impact over 2015.
The Event at Rebecca Farm, held in late July, welcomed more than 600 competitors and nearly 10,000 spectators in 2016.
“To see the economic impact increase to $5.5 million is amazing,” says Event at Rebecca Farm organizer, Sarah Broussard. “It really is a testament to the community, who help us put on The Event every year. We definitely could not do The Event, and continue to grow in this way, without community support and involvement.”
The study also found a 6 percent increase in out-of-state visitors — 46 percent compared to 40 percent in 2015. Attendees came from 25 states, as well as Canada, according to the study.
“The Flathead Valley is so wonderful and beautiful,” Broussard said, noting that many people come for several days to enjoy a vacation. “Those that come to Event love to partake in all the valley has to offer, whether that is zip lining, whitewater rafting, or going to Glacier National Park. There is so much this area offers to not just The Event competitors, but also to their family and friends.”
Broussard anticipates the Event at Rebecca Farm and its impact will continue to grow in 2017. In January, Rebecca Farm announced it would host the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, a move that would see more international competitors and visitors coming to Montana.
“We are excited for 2017 and hope The Event at Rebecca Farm’s impact will continue to get bigger and better,” Broussard says.