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Thursday, August 4, 2005 9:58:13 AM - Monroe Ohio




Ginger Bruggeman, chair of the 2005 Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival, announced that the three day event over the weekend of July 22-24, drew  more than 56,000 people and pumped $3.7 million into the Middletown area economy.


Using conservative methods of estimating the value of an event to its community, those 56,000 people not only spent money at the event, stayed in local hotels, ate in area restaurants and bought gasoline and other retail goods but were responsible for those presenting the event to spend on materials, supplies, services and taxes which also add to the economic impact of the event.


Bruggeman said, “One of the best results of this event is that our local non-profit organizations benefit. This year thirty-one groups added approximately $30,000 to their treasuries. Several groups serve food, others partner with food providers and still others sign on to provide services such as grounds clean up and parking.”


Ohio Challenge requires all food vendors to either be a non-profit or donate 10% of profits to a local non-profit organization.  Ohio Challenge makes a donation to the treasury of groups providing services.


A survey taken on site by Ohio Challenge volunteers, showed that 67% of guests on site came from the Butler and Warren County area.  Five percent, up from two percent in 2005, came from other states.


Even with temperatures soaring and humidity at high levels which kept afternoon crowds down, evening crowds were good on Friday and Saturday evenings. While the total number of guests was lower by approximately 15,000 people,  organizers are confident that the future of the event is secure and are making plans for the next  Ohio Challenge festival.


For more information, contact Ohio Challenge at 513-422-4551 or visit


The Ohio Challenge is hosted by The Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton. Primary sponsor is MidFirst Credit Union.

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