By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The organizers of the Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival on Tuesday said the 2012 event made about $68,200.
The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association puts on the June festival, which includes Elvis events at the Lyric Theatre and concerts in Fairpark. At the monthly board meeting Tuesday, the treasurer reported net income from this year’s festival was $68,203.55.
“It’s a very good figure,” said treasurer Paul Mize Jr. “We stepped it up. We made money on the Elvis Fest and got people downtown.”
The festival made about $70,000 last year, as well.
Past President Jim Goodwin last year campaigned to increase the entertainment budget to get bigger names on the stage. This year, Paul Thorn headlined Friday night in Fairpark and country act Little Big Town headlined Saturday night.
The bigger entertainment acts, combined with the unusually mild June weather, paid off.
“We increased attendance 80 percent,” Goodwin said. “We spent more to get there. We knew we were going to spend more. We returned about the same amount as last year. We’re not trying to add money to the bottom line or else we’d have $10 beers. We wanted to get people downtown. I think it’s mission accomplished.”
The board plans to continue with bigger entertainment acts. At its board retreat July 27, members voted to increase the Elvis Fest entertainment budget to $90,000. It plans to spend about $15,000 for Friday and $75,000 for Saturday.