Benson businesses see positive impact from new music festival

Cochise Country Music Festival runs through Sunday at 4EVR Ranch
Businesses in Benson are already seeing a positive impact from the first annual Cochise Country Music Festival.
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 10:47 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - After only one day, businesses in Benson are seeing a positive impact from the inaugural Cochise Country Music Festival.

And they only expect business to grow over the next two days.

“We are already seeing, just since this morning, we’re seeing double the numbers that we normally have on a Friday afternoon,” said Pamela Hone, owner of Benson Fuel.

People from across the state began making their way into town for the festival. The festival is being held at 4EVR Ranch and is being headlined by some big names in the country world from Sawyer Brown to Clay Walker.

Many local businesses said this time of the year is generally slow.

Samantha VanZandt, owner and manager of Magaly’s Mexican Restaurant, said they started to see a change Thursday.

“So today definitely picked up there are usually two waitresses in the morning and a hostess. I came in to help and wait tables because I knew it would be busy,” VanZandt said. “They definitely needed it. Business kind of picked up yesterday too as I saw a lot of campers coming in.”

VanZandt expects to see more customers in the coming days.

Hone said they are appreciative of the additional business and have been planning for the increase for several weeks.

“With the Country Fest coming in we planned on seeing more business, so we planned to order more fuel. We hooked up a second register where usually we only have one so that we don’t keep people waiting,” said Hone.

And while the festival is only in town for the weekend, businesses owners said they expect the impact for months to come.

“So, I definitely think it will be a lasting effect at least for a couple of months or even next year they will always come back to Benson,” said VanZandt

Hone added that she hopes this will also bring people back to her business.

“I am excited that it might bring in customers that haven’t been to our little store and our little gas station and I hope it will bring in repeat customers for us,” said Hone.”

Both are also in consensus that while this weekend may be beneficial to their stores, it is an event that the city needed.

“I think it is going to be positive because I think it is actually putting Benson on the map for a lot of people that hadn’t even heard of it,” said Hone. “They’ve heard about the country singers that are going to be here and now they will no about Benson too.”

The owners hope the festival has a successful weekend as they would like to see it and the extra business return next year.

The Cochise Country Music Festival runs from now until Sunday, March 19.