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WKU graduation is a celebration for students and the economy

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As nearly 3,300 students will walk away with degrees this weekend, thousands of family and friends will drive in to the city—leaving dollars in their path.

“Graduation for WKU is pretty much a city-wide sellout for the hotels here in Bowling Green,” BG Area Lodging Association Board Member, Drue Eberhardt says, “a lot of us have been booked up for quite a while.”

Nearly all hotels in the city are booked, meaning visitors won’t just be stopping by for the commencement ceremony and leaving.

“It’s sort of the launch of the tourism season,” Executive Director of the BG Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Vicki Fitch says, “it’s right after [The Kentucky] Derby and we’re happy to have all the visitors that come into Bowling Green.”

Eberhardt agrees, “a lot of these area attractions have a major economic impact on our community, not just the hotel industry, but all these businesses here in Bowling Green.”

As the red towels go up this weekend, the economic impact of the tourism industry in the bluegrass state is going up as well.

“We are very excited to learn that the numbers for our 2017 economic impact report are in and Bowling Green/Warren County is up 3.1 percent.”

In 2017, Warren County tourism created over six million dollars in local tax revenue and over 40 million in state revenue.

Fitch says there’s another exciting detail about that number— “Each household in Warren County will save $1,036 in state and local taxes due to tourism spending. That is something that affects every single family in our community.”

For the first time since May 2006, WKU’s spring ceremony will be conducted outdoors at Houchens Industries L.T. Smith Stadium, followed by the Topper Walk and Big Red Bash on WKU’s South Lawn.

On Saturday, WKU’s six colleges will host special recognition ceremony’s inside Diddle Arena.

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