Mayor Sanders hails economic impact of Pride, other civic events
Community events on city property pump more than $200 million into economy
Published Thursday, 03-Aug-2006 in issue 971
On the eve of Pride, Mayor Jerry Sanders lauded community events for their fiscal impact on San Diego’s economy and said the Pride parade and festival would generate more than $21 million in revenue for the city.
In a joint press conference with other civic leaders held outside the entrance to the San Diego LGBT Pride festival last Thursday, Sanders said the more than 1,700 major civic, athletic and community events held each year in San Diego are attended by 10 million people and generate more than $200 million.
“As you can imagine, that’s an important shot in the arm for the entire regional economy, and part of the reason we pay so much attention to keeping our parks and bays and everything else so beautiful,” he said.
San Diego Pride is the 10th largest Pride event in the nation, attracting 150,000 parade spectators and more than 40,000 festival attendees, said Phillip Princetta, co-chair of San Diego LGBT Pride.
“The parade alone is the largest civic event in the city of San Diego,” he said, and added that the parade and festival’s regional economic impact makes Pride “a win-win situation for everyone.”
Tourism is San Diego’s third largest industry and provides 110,000 jobs, according to the city. In 2005, visitors spent $5.8 billion and generated an overall economic impact of $13.3 billion. The city estimates it received $131 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes from visitors in fiscal year 2006, which ended June 30.
Carolyn Wormser, director of special events for the city, said the numbers the city receives on the economic impact of various special events comes from economic-impact studies event organizers submit to the city, and that her office estimates the actual numbers are much larger.
“Those profits from events are reinvested in many of the civic and social services that are provided by hundreds of nonprofits throughout the region,” she said.
San Diego’s Office of Special Events features an online calendar at www.sandiego.gov/ specialevents that includes a seven-day calendar highlighting special events taking place around the city each week. The online calendar promotes only public events that receive permitting or technical assistance from the city.
David Peckinpaugh, president and CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (ConVis), said special events in the city help ConVis with marketing outreach.
“Many of our visitors make their decision to visit San Diego based on what these special events have to offer, and many of the visitors to San Diego decide to extend their stay because of what special events have to offer,” he said.
Earlier this year, ConVis kicked off a national marketing campaign called “365 Days of Ahhhhh!” to promote San Diego as a destination for “active relaxation.” A television campaign launched nationally in April on eight major television networks, and the campaign also has print and online advertising components.