Charleston Sees Economic Growth by Hosting Events

By: Katelyn Sykes Email
By: Katelyn Sykes Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, Charleston is the place to be.

Crews were busy Wednesday setting up tents at Magic Island for the World’s Championship Chili Cook-off. That’s set to get underway on Friday.

But that’s not all that’s going on in the city. Car enthusiasts can enjoy the Rod Run and Doo Wop car show, and the University of Charleston is hosting its homecoming.

It’s events just like these that are generating big bucks for the city, but where does that money go? WSAZ.com found out it’s setting up the city to win even bigger in the future.

"It's everything, and it started when my administration took office, if I don't mind saying so,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said. “It started with live on the levee, and we keep adding and adding and adding."

And it's adding big bucks to the city’s bottom line. This weekend’s World’s Championship Chili Cook-off is expected to attract thousands of people and generate about a million bucks. It’s money leaders said is helping the city thrive.

"They're visiting the downtown restaurants. They're putting gas in their vehicles. They're shopping at the retail, at the mall, all of our shops,” said Jama Jarrett, vice president of operations and communications with the Charleston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “So that money, the taxes off that money is coming back into the city."

And it’s going back into the city in a number of ways. Not only do shops and restaurants see more customers and cash, hotel rooms are booking fast.

That's where the city benefits: taxes off those rooms go back to the Charleston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, which allows them to do more promotion and once again, attracting more people into town.

"We're able to market the city as a leisure destination,” Jarrett said. “We're also able to market it as an event meeting destination."

And it’s working. With events like Live on the Levee, FestivAll and this weekend’s events, more out-of-town residents are visiting the area and boosting the economy.

CVB officials said while they benefit from hotel taxes, the city benefits from other taxes. That allows them to also do some of their own promotions.


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