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Bell County Expo Center holding more events and seeing higher turnouts

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 00:03:47-04

Things are starting to look normal again at the Bell County Expo Center.

“About March or April or so we really felt things turn around. By the summer we were operating at 100%,” said Bell County Expo Center Executive Director Tim Stephens.

With most COVID-19 restrictions lifted and nearly half the state vaccinated, Tim Stephens said they’re finally holding more events at full capacity.

“We did the graduations. We’re doing all the normal conventions that we normally do,” said Stephens.

Last year, The Bell County Expo Center only held 189 events. Losing around $1.5 million in gross revenue and more than $400,000 in net revenue. However, since the start of the year until May, they’ve already held 175 events including the Belton Fourth of July rodeo.

“This year actually kind of set a record for attendance. And at least recent memory with really good crowd for now. We’re excited about events coming back,” said Belton Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Pittenger.

“Can we make up what we lost the first six months probably not. But we’re certainly gonna have a good last six months of the year,” said Stephens.

They’re also getting ready to hold events canceled last year, like the Central Texas State Fair.

“Last year we didn’t have it this year we will. That will make our you better,” said Stephens.

“It gives people quality of life and things to do that live here but it also brings people from outside of our area to our community and they spend money. It’s a significant economic driver for us,” said Pittenger.

Stephens said the fair alone generates around $300,000-$400,000 a year for the Expo Center. He said they’re planning to hold around 250 by September, the end of their year. He said they’re also planning several concerts for next year.