WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Big E provides a major economic boost to the western Massachusetts economy with crowds it draws annually to the area.

The fair runs 17 days, and during this time, visitors from all over the country will flock to West Springfield and head through the fair gates. In addition to the dollars these people spent at the fair, local business see a boost.

“They’re spending money locally here. There’s also a lot of local businesses that are a part of the supply chain and the support team for The Big E it’s a huge impact,” says Rick Sullivan, President of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council.

The Big E is the third largest fair in North America, and brings millions of people to our area, many of whom need a place to sleep and a place to eat. Local hotels say they are grateful for the influx of business.

Stacey Gravanis, Vice President and General Manager at the Sheraton in Springfield Monarch Place says, “Hundreds of thousands of dollars generated from overnight rooms, guests, and vendors dining in our restaurants, it’s just tremendous.”

Business owners adding the additional business is incredible, but it’s also about relationships. “I mean the people that come in, they come in from all over the country. We’ve met people from everywhere, Hawaii, Alaska last year. It’s not just about making money, it’s about experiences and friendships and things like that,” said Donald Calvanese, owner of the Storrowton Tavern.

The Big E fairgoers and vendors clearly rely on the resources in our area, and many of these businesses seem to appreciate this boost.