More visitors in the Yakima Valley

More visitors in the Yakima Valley »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- More visitors are spending money here in the Yakima Valley. Millions of dollars spent at hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Where does the tax money generated by it go?

"We have 300 days of sunshine in the Yakima Valley so they know where to find it," said Diane Smestad with the Yakima Visitor's Center.

Wine, apples and weather. They're a few things that make the Yakima Valley an attractive place to be. Diane Smestad says sunshine is the biggest selling point.

"In the middle of the summer, we'd see 100 to 160, sometimes if there's any event," said Diane.

Sporting events helped the local economy. The visitor’s bureau reported about 30 more events brought in about $4.5 million more business.

Just last year, the Yakima Convention Center brought in nearly $9 million to the local economy and almost made $800,000 in revenue, which is a record high for the county/

Tourism officials said visitors spent almost $7 million more last year. Money they said saved each household about 400 dollars in taxes that sustained the city and county budgets.

"That's less taxes that we have to pay to support our basic general services like streets, roads, parks, police, and fire services," said President and CEO of Yakima Valley Visitor and Convention Bureau.

The Visitors and Convention Bureau said tourists generated more than $25 million in state and local taxes last year. And, created jobs in tourism and supporting businesses. Fueled largely by sports, grapes and sunshine.