GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - Is the Hangout Fest worth it?
That's the question city leaders are asking in Gulf Shores. A study is being considered that would give hard numbers on the economic impacts of the concert, but residents want the so-called social impacts explored as well.
It's a four-day party that brings 30,000 plus people to Gulf Shores. The Hangout Fest has quickly become one of the most popular events on the Gulf Coast, but now some are asking whether the disruption worth it for this family-friendly destination.
Blake Phelps with the City of Gulf Shores told us, "It does put a strain on the entire community. And that's what we want to weigh those constraints that it puts on us with the economic impact and kind of see what that hard data is and really understand if the juice is worth the squeeze so to speak."
Phelps told us the city council will vote on commissioning an economic impact study Monday, June 24.
"Really just to wrap our heads around what the hard numbers are, what the data is, what the cost benefit of the event is to the entire area," Phelps said.
"For the City of Gulf Shores, I'll give you my personal opinion; I think it's a detriment," Tom Moore said.
Moore has been running town hall meetings in Gulf Shores for the last several years. He told us issues with the Hangout Fest go beyond the economics.
"There's more to this whole question than the economic impact," Moore said. "It's the social impact and the impact on the residents in the city that have to be considered at the same time."
For nearly a week during the Hangout Fest, the main public beach is closed, as are the roads around it, and concert goers can find everything they need on site. Moore said an economic impact study may shed light on who's actually benefiting from the concert.
He said, "I think what they're going to find out is that most of the impact or most of the revenue is going to one business owner, and that's a big concern of a lot of people in town."
Not everyone agrees. At Papa Rocco's Pizza, Manager Ryan Heflin told us the Hangout Fest has been good for business and sales nearly double as compared to the years before the event.
"Before the music festival was here, we had that lull between spring break and the summertime where you could kind of catch your breath but, at the same time, there wasn't revenue coming into the businesses," Heflin said. "I think it benefits the city greatly."
DECISIONS COMING SOON
FOX10 News did reach out to officials with the Hangout. They told us at this time they weren't going to make any comment on this issue.
Next year is the last year of a five-year verbal agreement between the City of Gulf Shores and the Hangout Fest. The City Council will vote on moving forward with the impact study next Monday. Of course, we'll let you know how that turns out.
Mobile police have released the names of three shooting victims. Police say the shooting was the result of domestic violence.
Mobile Police have launched an internal investigation into the Third Precinct Captain and a patrol officer, who authorities believe were involved in an ongoing sexual relationship. Captain Carla Longmire is charged with conduct unbecoming …
A Grand Bay family woke up to an unexpected guest on their back porch Wednesday, December 11 - a donkey. Don Edeker said the little guy is lost, and he's trying to help his owner find him.
Prosecutors say they will not file domestic violence charges against George Zimmerman after his girlfriend said in a sworn statement she did not want to pursue the case.
Clear skies and a secondary push of chilly air arrive tonight as a stronger area of high pressure moves in from the central plains.
The trial has begun for accused sex offender Giusseppe LoPorto in Bay Minette. LoPorto spent 14 years on the run in Italy before being arrested and extradited back to Baldwin County in 2012.