DNC An Economic Boon Or Bust? Answer Comes Today

Jan 28, 2013

Local and DNCC officials at one of many press conferences during the planning stages of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Original estimates placed the economic impact of the DNC in Charlotte between $150 million and $200 million.  We'll know today if it came close. WFAE's Julie Rose reports:

Charlotte tourism officials have been known to over blow predictions of economic impact for various conventions, so they hired an outside firm to come up with a credible number for the DNC. 

The results of that $25,000 study will be released today. It will include both direct spending by convention delegates in local hotels and restaurants, as well the ripple effect of those dollars on related businesses, such as food wholesalers and caterers.  The final tally will also incorporate the $50 million federal grant CMPD got for DNC security and the millions spent by the convention and host committees in the 18 months leading up to the big event.

These economic impact studies are often criticized for ignoring spending that was displaced by a tourism event. Think of all the people who would normally dine Uptown, but stayed away during the DNC to avoid the crowds and security checkpoints.

But Adam Sacks – the president of Tourism Economics, which is doing the study – said last fall he intended to look at the economic pros and cons of the DNC and release a "conservative" estimate of its impact on Charlotte.