Cost $25,000 for study estimating DNC profit in Charlotte

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said Wednesday it will cost $25,000 to $30,000 for a study estimating how much money the  Democratic National Convention brought to Charlotte.

The 2008 DNC in Denver was estimated to have brought more than $150 million to the Denver city and county area.

CRVA's CEO, Tom Murray, said while the CRVA normally does economic impact analysis itself, the DNC was a special event, which is why he and other leaders of development agencies chose to hire the firm Tourism Economics.

"There was so much more federal participation, security participation, city staff, all those kinds of things," he said.

A presentation fromTourism Economics states it will collect data including delegate counts, media attendance figures, security-related staff and spending, budgets of the DNC Committee and host committee, hotel room bookings and sponsor spending.

Eyewitness News called the managing director of Tourism Economics, Adam Sacks, to ask if the firm had done an economic impact study for a Democratic National Convention or Republican National Convention before.

He said they had not but just completed an analysis of the London Olympics and that the firm set the new industry standard for economic impact analysis. In fact, the CRVA confirmed it uses Tourism Economics' standards itself now.

The CRVA is partnering with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership and Charlotte Center City Partners to equally split the price.

Some people like Chris Furnish say it's a waste of money  a small part of which is taxpayer dollars.

"How do I see that on the bottom line? What does that mean to me?" he asked.

But Murray said the numbers will be essential in helping Charlotte decide what worked and how to do better.

"We knew they were going to be important to us in our future decision-making  and how we thought about whether we did events like this again," Murray said.

Tourism Economics said it will also calculate any business lost during the DNC because of changes like road closures by comparing data from last September.

The CRVA expects the report in about two months.