UNA Pressroom

Weekend of Events at UNA Brings Combined $1 Million Economic Impact to Shoals

Nov. 29, 2023

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – As the University of North Alabama campus prepares to host two large regional and state-wide events Dec. 1-3, the economic impact of the thousands of people to the Shoals is expected to approach $1 million, according to data from the University. The South’s BEST Robotics Competition is Dec. 1-3, while the Walter Trumbauer High School Theater Festival is Dec. 1-2. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the student participants, their families, and coaches to this historic campus,” said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. “Each individual has an opportunity to experience all UNA has to offer – from our theater and competition areas to our many gathering places. Further, UNA is well-positioned in Florence and the Shoals so that visitors, when not on campus, can take advantage of the amenities throughout the area.” 

Among those amenities, of course, are the hotels, restaurants, retail establishments, and other attractions for visitors to the Shoals that will create a combined economic impact of close to $1 million at the close of the first three days in December. Combined, both events are expected to bring more than 5,000 visitors to UNA and the Shoals. 

“These are high-achieving students who are likely to bring parents and other family members along with them to these competitions,” said Dr. Katie Kinney, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These would be students who may not have ever had the opportunity to come to the Shoals and see UNA and meet the people and professors here. This is also an opportunity to attend UNA and turn that high performance into a degree that results in a high-paying job after graduation.”


About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/