The reports from 42 different artists are in and the numbers point to a 12% increase in average sales per artist during the 2014 Meander Upper Minnesota River Arts Crawl. According to Kristi Fernholz, Senior Planner for the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC), a total of $108,207 of art sales were made during the course of the three day Meander weekend, which
is up from the $90,874 reported last year.
“It is encouraging that after 11 years, the Meander continues to grow, and the increase in art sales is only part of the story. It is the economic boost for small businesses in region and the quality of life awareness the Meander brings that really pays the dividends.” – Fernholz
According to surveys returned by Meander visitors and the artists themselves, the average Meander customer spends $40 on food and gas and $12 on shopping other than art in the region. When multiplied by the estimated 2000 Meanderers over the weekend, this amounts to another $104,000 flowing into the small towns of the 5 county region (Big Stone, Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine) served by the UMVRDC.
According to the surveys, 20 % of those customers taking part in the Meander weekend are from the Twin Cities metro area and 19% come from other states. 53% of those attending the 2014 event were first timers and 81% of all attendees surveyed say they intend to come again next year.
In addition to seeing all the art and meeting the artists, the ability to “spend the day with family and friends” was a highlight for the weekend, according to a survey of Meander visitors.
“It all adds up to a memorable and positive experience featuring the good people, the creativity and beautiful landscape of our prairie waters region,” said Fernholz. “It is one of the best things we can do to attract new families to our communities.”
For more information on the Meander, call 1-866-866-5432 or visit www.artsmeander.com.
2014 Meander Economic Impacts
$108,207 Total reported Meander art sales to customers during the Meander weekend. (42/42 surveys reported) 2013 reported $90,874 with 40 surveys returned
$2,576 Average reported art sales per artist. (12% increase from 2013!)
76% Money raised to organize the Meander through sponsors and artists was spent on products or services (printing, paper, advertising, graphic design, staffing) in the five county area. Meander spent over $10,000 on advertising in 2014; 27% of the total budget.
97-1400 Reported total number of customers at individual studios for the entire weekend.
11 studios Average number of studios customers visited.
2.8 people per travel party (on average)
81% of customers said the quality of the art was excellent
81% of customers said their overall experience was excellent
53% did NOT attend last year
81% plan to attend again next year
17% maybe plan to attend next year
36% came from within 5-county area
25% came from greater Minnesota (outside 5-county area)
20% came from the metro area
19% came from out of state
Average Expenditures per Customer
(385 reporting in 2014 vs 373 in 2013 )
$121 on Meander Art ($112 in 2013)
$40 on Food/Gas ($41 in 2013)
$12 on Shopping, other than art ($20 in 2013)
$11 on Lodging ($16 in 2013)