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January 21, 2014

Annual film fest brings welcome money into Duncan

DUNCAN — Restaurant managers, hoteliers and other business people in Duncan say the Trail Dance Film Festival has brought a welcome boost to revenues in the past and they’re looking forward to more this weekend.

This year’s event runs through Friday and Saturday, with 95 films on three screens at the Simmons Center and one screen at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.

There are almost 60 short films, 10 short documentaries, almost 20 feature length films and about six feature length documentaries to be screened.

Visitors from across the country, including California and New York, come to Duncan to watch and discuss the movies.

Several foreign films will be shown and filmmakers from as far as Australia have been known to visit.

Business managers say the out-of-towners spend most of their money on lodging and food.

“I remember last year, we had a big push in late night sales,” said John McKinney, Applebee’s manager.

At the Hampton Inn, general manager Ashley Johnson said the festival brings about 15 overnight guests to the hotel.

The event takes place over two days, so there are not as many overnight visitors as there were two years ago when it lasted an extra day.

About 3,000 visitors attended the festival last year, said Loisdawn Jones, director of the Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Trail Dance brought in almost $40,000 last year. A day visitor will spend about $122 a day and an overnight visitor will spend about $382,” she said.

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