DockDogs signed through 2013

Published 6:00 pm Friday, May 21, 2010

Contributing Editor

DockDogs is returning to Washington for at least three more years, thanks, in part, to continued support from the city.
Earlier this month, the City Council announced its continued support for the festival and a return of DockDogs competitions to the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships from 2011-2013.
David Gossett, representing the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, which presents the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships each winter, appeared before the council to request the city’s continued financial support of the festival. Gossett said that support would help the guild land a three-year contract with DockDogs Inc., which has its headquarters in Ohio.
The city’s proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year includes $8,750 for the guild to help it defray costs of putting on the festival.
“We feel like the event has a great future,” Gossett told the council.
Council members said the festival, held in early February, is important to the city because it provides area businesses with an influx of money during what is, financially, a slow time of the year for them.
A 2006 study of the festival’s influence on the local economy concluded that visitors to the 2006 festival had an economic impact of $162,240 on that economy. The study was prepared for the Washington Tourism Development Authority.
In 2008, Gossett told city officials he believed that impact had grown to anywhere from $200,000 and $300,000.
This past February was the first time for DockDogs competitions at the festival. Although the weather for this year’s festival was not the best, Gossett said, festival organizers were pleased with the first appearance of DockDogs at the festival.
Gossett said 65 dogs entered the various DockDogs competitions, with from 1,200 people to 1,500 people attending the competitions. Gossett said the horrible weather conditions during the competitions had been experienced only once before during the festival’s 15-year history.
Gossett said that by signing a three-year contract with DockDogs Inc, the guild locks in a set cost for each year of the contract. That contract allows the guild to avoid a yearly increase that DockDogs Inc. places on its one-year contracts, with that yearly increase being anywhere from $250 to $500. By signing a three-year contract, the guild saves from $750 to $1,500 during the three-year period, Gossett told the council.
The three-year contract also allows the guild to lock in DockDogs for the festival dates in 2011-2013, Gossett noted. By signing a three-year contract, the guild sends a message to DockDogs competitors that the DockDogs competitions in Washington will be held for an extended period of time, not just on a short-term basis, he said.