Courtesy of Patrice Wright

It’s not often a picture of a bar receipt goes viral. But then again it’s not often a hotel bar adds an automatic surcharge that’s being called by some a ‘Black Tax.’

The receipt is from the Ritz-Carlton in uptown, and that extra charge was levied during the recent CIAA basketball tournament.

CIAA Moves To Charlotte (and keeps tournament here)

Mar 3, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), an athletic conference of historically black colleges and universities, just wrapped up its ninth basketball tournament this weekend in Charlotte. There was some question whether it would have a tenth year in the city, but CIAA officials said Monday the tournament is staying put. 

The CIAA's contract expired with the city this year and CIAA officials were looking at other cities for a better deal. On Monday, CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter said Charlotte was able to offer one. 

Sea Life Aquarium Opens At Concord Mills

Feb 20, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

The Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium in the Concord Mills Mall is now open to the public. A couple hundred people gathered for the opening ceremonies on Thursday morning, including nine-year-old Aditi Sengupta. She's been to lots of larger aquariums – including the Georgia aquarium – but she's really excited about Sea Life.

Charlotte's A Taxing City For Tourists

Mar 29, 2013

State lawmakers have rebuffed Charlotte officials who hoped to double the local restaurant tax in order to renovate Bank of America Stadium.  Instead, the city will have to rearrange existing restaurant tax revenues to help the Panthers. Visitors to Charlotte may find that good news, since WFAE's Julie Rose reports the city already ranks among the most taxing for tourists.

DNC Meant $163M For Charlotte-Area Economy

Jan 29, 2013
Julie Rose

An outside study released Monday says the Democratic National Convention pumped $163 million into the Charlotte-area economy – making it the largest tourism event the city's ever held. WFAE's Julie Rose has this analysis of the study.

$163 million is on the low end of the original estimate city officials gave for what the DNC might mean to the Charlotte economy. That's what stands about this economic impact study – typically they're criticized for being way too rosy.

DNC An Economic Boon Or Bust? Answer Comes Today

Jan 28, 2013

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. 

NASCAR Hall of Fame Showing Signs Of Life

Jan 8, 2013
©Sean Busher and NASCAR Hall of Fame

Since the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010 it has fallen far short of attendance projections and had annual deficits of more than a million dollars. But now, for the first time, CRVA CEO Tom Murray says the Hall of Fame is ahead in something. 

Prosecutors Appeal Dismissal Of Tim Newman's DWI Charge

Nov 28, 2012

  Mecklenburg prosecutors are appealing a judge’s decision to throw out the drunken driving charge against Tim Newman, the former chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. In a notice of appeal, Assistant District Attorney Emily Kraper wrote that the judge’s decision was “contrary to the law.” “The state contends that there is enough evidence to overcome the motion to dismiss and thereafter prove reasonable suspicion, probable cause and a subsequent conviction of the defendant for the charge of driving while impaired,” the prosecutor wrote in the notice of appeal. Meckl

The City of Charlotte and several tax-payer funded agencies will pay an outside agency about $25,000 to estimate the DNC's boost to the local economy.

It's pretty standard for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority to do a "this is how our economy benefited" estimate after major conventions. It's highly unusual for the CRVA to hire an outside firm to do it.