Andrew Wommack question-and-answer panel

Senior Vice President Andrew Wertz, CEO Billy Epperhart and founder Andrew Wommack answer questions from the public at a community open house on Nov. 6 at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park.

Charis Bible College and Andrew Wommack Ministries are headquartered in Woodland Park, Colorado. Both organizations have been growing over the last several years. They currently share a single campus in Woodland Park: Charis South campus, where the classrooms and auditorium are located; and Charis North campus, where AWM HQ is and the first housing will be located.

Today, about 1,000 students attend classes at Charis, and more than 15,000 people per year visit Woodland Park to attend events at AWM. A combined staff of more than 583 people currently support Charis/AWM. To accommodate the growth, Charis has been expanding their campus and facilities by adding offices, classrooms, a 3,150-seat auditorium, housing and parking space.

Charis/AWM activities generate economic impact in Woodland Park and Teller County because of both organization’s spending on operations and maintenance, staff salaries, and construction. Additionally, spending by students, staff and event attendees create additional economic impact in the region.

BBC Research & Consulting, a 51-year-old economic consulting firm based in Denver, led a recent study to estimate the economic impacts of Charis and AWM on the economies of Woodland Park and Teller County based on 10-year growth projections.

Over the next 10 years, Charis anticipates spending an annual average of $14 million on operations and maintenance at businesses in Woodland Park in Teller County. During this time, average annual staff salaries will be $45 million, which will support a total workforce of approximately 890 people at its peak. Charis also anticipates spending about $11 million per year on construction over the next decade. Charis’ students, who are mostly older adults with good incomes and savings, are projected to spend an annual average of $15 million at local businesses. Event attendees are expected to spend about $4 million per year on lodging, restaurants, recreation and retail expenditures.

The impacts of the different expenditures will sustain an annual average of 1,330 jobs in the Woodland Park and Teller County economy over the next 10 years, which includes about 830 jobs at Charis and AWM and 500 jobs at other businesses. This employment will generate about $69 million per year in labor earnings, which includes $45 million per year from earnings paid to Charis and AWM staff and $24 million paid to staff at other businesses. This spending will also create sales and use tax revenues of about $500,000 per year for the city and $123,000 per year for the county.

Michael Verdone is a Director of BBC Research & Consulting. Michael holds a doctorate in economics from Colorado State University and has conducted a number of economic impact studies for various organizations across the Western United States.

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