Study: DNC generated $163M in economic development

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Study: DNC generated $163M in economic development

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by WCNC.com Staff & The Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 7:01 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The 2012 Democratic National Convention had the highest economic impact of any event in Charlotte history.

City leaders hired a company last year to study the convention's economic impact. That study was released on Monday afternooon.

The study says the Democratic National Convention generated $163 million in econmic development across the six counties taken into account: Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union and York.

“The results of this report reaffirm what we as Charlotteans already know—that the 2012 Democratic National Convention had a tremendously positive impact on our city and our region,” Mayor Foxx said. “Not only did it inject millions of dollars into our local economy, it exposed our community to millions of people around the world and put Charlotte on an international stage. Thanks to the work of thousands of people and many partner organizations, the convention continues to be hailed as one of the best ever and a major turning point that will continue to pay dividends for our city for years to come.”

The city says 35,000 people attended the three-day event in early September, including delegates and journalists.  Those 35,000 attendees spent $91 million directly, and another $72 million indirectly, the report states.

According to the report, lodging, security, food and beverage, media production, space rentals and construction led the way in sources of direct expenditures.

Occupancy rates were at their highest ever at 92-percent with average daily room rates reaching $220. A total of 61,246 hotel rooms were booked during the event. The study also estimates the delegates and non-delegates alike spent an average of $235 a day.

Transportation records were set during the DNC, too; 32,708 passengers rode the light rail every day-- a record, and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport set a one-day departure record of 26,000.

Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, the consulting firm who published the Democratic National Convention economics study says, "The DNC was a huge economic success."

Before the convention, city leaders estimated that the event would generate some $200 million in revenue, from the security expenses to delegate spending to the host committee contracts with local caterers and other businesses.   

The convention was held at the Time Warner Cable Arena, and city leaders say restaurants were filled at night.   

After the convention, city leaders said they were thrilled with the national exposure and hope it pays dividends in the future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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