CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An independent private firm with be conducting a study on how much money was spent in Charlotte during last week’s Democratic National Convention.
Pennsylvania-based Tourist Economics was hired by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and a few other local agencies for approximately $30,000 to determine the convention’s economic impact on the city and businesses.
“If we find we'd like to do more ‘DNC's, then how would we be better at delivering a DNC-type convention,” said Tom Murray of the CRVA.
The CRVA has been criticized in the past for doing its own research that resulted in favorable numbers for attendance and revenue estimates at uptown events. Most famously, the group estimated the NASCAR Hall of Fame would get 800,000 visitors in its first year, when only 290,000 actually attended.
“Regardless of what the final number comes out to be, we know it had a heck of an impact on our city," Murray added.
Spending numbers are vital because they give the city an idea about how much tax revenue was brought in during the convention and it also gives businesses an idea of how successful the event was.
“Business owners need to have as much information as possible to plan accordingly, scheduling, purchases,” said Kevin Marcuse, owner of Fitzgerald’s bar uptown and Kennedy’s in Elizabeth.
Marcuse says his uptown business performed well above average in sales, but his Elizabeth bar struggled when compared to the first week of September in 2011.
“It was significantly lower than last year," Marcuse said.
On a larger level, Marcuse believes the findings of the economic impact will be positive.
“Overall, this was a huge win for Charlotte, and I think, long-term it's going to be a bonanza in terms of future business.”
Tourist Economics is expected to take several months researching the DNC’s economic impact before final numbers are released.