Food + Wine Festival reports growing economic impact

Image by Food + WineImage by 20090421-food.jpg They've got something to cheer about.

Just as word comes that the festival could lose some funding, the Food + Wine Festival is reporting that this year's festival was its biggest yet, creating some $2.4 million in local economic impact.

That number is up 6.8% from last year, and was not the only increase the festival saw. From their press release

  • The Festival welcomed over 15,000 guests, up 2,000 from 2008, at more than 50 events throughout the weekend, almost all of which sold out.
  • Of those 15,000 guests 44 percent were non-local.
  • Notably of those non-local attendees surveyed, 13.6 percent had never visited Charleston.
  • The average non-local visitor spent $610 per person locally and the average travel party was four adults, up from three adults in 2008.
  • Based on the information that our hotel partners reported 241 hotel packages/rooms were sold.
  • Total ticket sales were $772,929 which is up from $562,335 in 2008 and $82,904 over the 2009 ticketing budget
  • The labor income is $876K, up from $817K in 2008, with generated tax of $322K up from 290K in 2008.

"During a historically slower time, the Festival has continued to grow in attendance, ticket sales and charitable donations," stated Laura Hewitt, chair of the Festival’s Board of Directors, “The camaraderie within the local restaurant community has truly aided in making this Festival the success that it has become."

Glad to see them doing well and helping other local businesses do well.