Bush Presidential Library Could Create Sizeable Economic Impact

Sept. 1, 2005

Contact: Sheila Allee, Sheila.allee@ttu.edu (806-742-2136)

LUBBOCK – The city of Lubbock and the surrounding region could get an estimated $218 million economic boost in the first five years if President George W. Bush decides to locate his Presidential Library at Texas Tech University, West Texas leaders said Thursday.

“This is a conservative estimate and it takes into account construction of the library, its impact on tourism and the budget it would take to run the library in its opening years,” said David Miller, chairman of the West Texas Coalition for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

“The impact, of course, will not be financial only,” Miller said. “You can’t place a price tag on what it would mean to West Texas to have world leaders visit such a library for symposia, speaking engagements and other important events.”

The $218 million figure is the result of an analysis done by business development staff in the Lubbock city manager’s office. The estimate is based on attendance numbers from other presidential libraries.

Construction of a library could generate about $109 million in economic impact and could create an estimated 1,447 jobs. More than $95.6 million in tourism dollars could be generated in the first five years and annual operating expenses could total more than $13 million over the same period. The numbers are based on estimated opening year attendance of 252,000 and average annual attendance of 156,000 over the first five years.

“Given these strong numbers, it’s clear that such a presidential library could mean great things for Lubbock and West Texas,” Miller said. “That’s why we’re asking the Lubbock City Council to assist in funding this important venture. If they agree, they will in essence be priming the economic pump for this area.”

Miller appeared before the City Council Thursday and spoke in favor of city backing. He was joined by former Lubbock congressman Kent Hance, Texas Tech basketball Coach Bob Knight, and Nancy Weiss, a personal friend of President and Mrs. Bush.