This weekends convention had about 1,650 attendees and is suppose to have an economic impact of about 2.7 million dollars on New Hanover County. Hayes says this weekend was big for party momentum heading into future elections.This means that each attendee spent, on average, $1636. Really?
I know that's not true for a lot of them. A lot of those people came from New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, etc. There's no way they're spending money on a hotel.
But this is how it goes here. Everything is inflated so it looks like the convention center is making money.
So, let's say its true. Let's say all of that money was spent on things that we get sales tax revenue for in Wilmington. How much do we get?
Well, New Hanover's sales tax is 2.25% (higher than the majority of the state.) The county decides how much sales tax revenue to give out to municipalities and the unincorporated area based on property tax levied.
This leaves us with less than 50% of sales tax revenue. I think it's 30-something percent, but for now let's just say we get 1% on purchases back to Wilmington.
That means we get $27,000.
Folks, we don't have events like this every weekend and make no mistake about it: we are losing money on the convention center. The city's own numbers even say so.
PS Oh, and how unusual is this week's turnout? Unprecedented.
The Wilmington Convention Center is having its best turnout yet this weekend as it hosts the 2011 State GOP Convention.