Thursday, September 6, 2012
US Open's local economic impact
From DNA Info:
The United States Tennis Association, the organization that runs the U.S. Open, claims that the event generates more than $750 million in annual revenue — up $330 million from 2001 — for the New York City region, according to published reports.
But while thousands of fans head to Flushing Meadows Corona Park every day during the two-week tournament, some businesses in neighboring Corona and Flushing say that they haven't seen the love from the influx of tourists.
The impact, or lack therof, can be seen at the Skyview Center, a shopping mall located across the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge. The mall, which houses a big chains like Best Buy, Bob's Furniture and Bed, Bath & Beyond, was been sparsely visited during the Open's first week.
At the Roosevelt Sports Bar, located down the street from the Skyview Center, Fann noted that 20 to 30 additional people have stopped by the bar in the two weeks since the tournament started, an increase he called insignificant.
"I don't think we really get the foot traffic," Fann said. "I don't recall anyone saying 'I'm going to watch the Open.'"
The problem, store owners say, is that the U.S. Open is self-contained. Fans exit the 7 train at Willets Point, walk down the boardwalk, and enter the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — all without ever setting foot on a Queens street. Once inside the tennis center, fans have access to food, drinks, retail stores and ATMs.
I've long thought the economic impact on local businesses, like Lemon Ice King, has not been all it's cracked up to be. But using Bob's Furniture Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond as examples of this is kind of a stretch.