Bass Tourney Should Help Rim Economy

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Some bemoan the Rim Country’s flagging economy while others do something about it.

Among those choosing to improve local markets is a close-knit committee that has taken on the challenge of ensuring that the first FLW bass tournament held on Roosevelt Lake, and headquartered in Payson, is a first-class production. The angling fray is set for April 16 to 18.

The committee members include Gary Chitwood, Ted Pettet, Ronnie McDaniel, Dennis Pirch, Tom Brown, Jim Goughnour, Dwayne Steel, Mike Foree, Mary McMullen, Cameron Davis, Farrell Hoosava, Jarrod McFarlin, Bill Newell, John France and Craig Swartwood.

The members have banned together to promote the tournament saying they believe it will showcase Roosevelt Lake as one of the finest fisheries in the West and will be an economic boon for northern Gila County.

Predictions are an FLW tournament would have an economic impact of $683,200.

Also committee members say FLW Outdoors officials have indicated they would like to make tournament inroads at Roosevelt, a lake where they have never hosted a tournament.

FLW is one of the country’s premier tournament organizations annually drawing 90,000 entries to 240 events with purses exceeding $42.6 million.

Although FLW is relatively new to Arizona, it is popular on the East Coast, in the Midwest and far West, hosting 17 of the top 18 fishing tournaments in the country.

Novel idea

One of the committee’s current focuses is formulating a unique way to greet tournament anglers when they sign in during registration to be held at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

Anglers participating will be given a type of “goodie bag” the committee chooses to call “Bass Tackle Bags.”

The bags will include coupons, souvenirs, discounts, keepsakes and mementos from local business people.

Organizers predict the bags will be a great way to introduce local businesses and trades to the visitors.

“And it would be of little or no cost (to the businesspersons),” Swartwood said.

For example, at a recent meeting, committee members mulled over the possibility of a business owner putting discount coupons or two-for-one coupons in the bags, much as they do on the discount cards that the Payson High School extracurricular groups sell.

Those interested in participating in the venture, only need to take whatever they’d like included in the bags to Town of Payson Outdoors and Trails Coordinator Mary McMullen at the Green Valley Park P&R offices. For more information, call McMullen at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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