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There’s No Business Like Show Business

If you are like me, when you get home from a dog show, especially a big event like Westminster, you need to go to the grocery to replenish those stores and you look at your bank balance and you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I spent that much this weekend!”

Well, being the numbers nerd that I am, I started researching just how much we dog fanciers spend at dog shows. I found a study that the American Kennel Club (AKC) did that said the average dog show exhibitor spends $320 locally on a typical show three-day weekend. Now that figure does not include transportation to and from the show or the entry fees. Assuming a 600-mile round trip and a $30 entry fee, you can tack on another $195, bringing the cost of an average weekend to $515 or 61 percent higher than the AKC estimate.

Now make that a place you need to fly to, say New York, and a high cost area, say New York, and the cost is substantially more. Airfare for you and your dog is around $600 or more; plan on $200 for ground transportation; three nights in a hotel come in at around $750; and meals will be about $300 (I paid $20 for a corned beef sandwich & a bottle of water at a Madison Square Garden concessionaire.); and your Westminster trip cost you just under $2,000.

AKC estimates that dog show participants contribute $330 million annually to show-hosting communities. Add in the transportation and entry fees and that figure grows to a $483 million economic stimulus. This does not include all the contribution the show hosting club contributes to the community in facility & equipment rental fees, trophy purchases, and temporary employment for security and other support personnel. There’s no business like dog show business. And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.