Saturday, August 14, 2004

Study: Centennial event generated $68.5 million

The Associated Press

DAYTON - A 17-day event celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight generated $68.5 million for the area's economy, according to a Wright State University study.

The study, by the university's Raj Soin College of Business, said tourist spending during the celebration, along with community spending on planning and infrastructure from 1998 to 2003, stimulated the economy. The stimulus boosted household earnings by $17.7 million and added 905 jobs in 2003.

But the tourists weren't from very far away, the study notes. Four out of every five of the estimated 740,000 visitors to the event in July 2003 were Ohio residents. In spite of $2 million spent on national advertising in 2002 and 2003, almost 60 percent of visitors were from the surrounding Miami Valley area.

The study was commissioned by Inventing Flight, the committee that planned and promoted the event. The committee supplied the attendance and financial data.

The report also said the committee spent $7 million outside the area while raising only $2 million from outside donors, resulting in a net negative economic impact of $5 million to the region.

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