Cleveland National Air Show soars the local economy

Cleveland National Air Show soars the local economy

Visitors to the 2012 Cleveland National Air Show and vendors from out of town contribute more than $1.72 million to the local economy. When factoring in local attendees, the air show's budget and related taxes, the conservative overall economic impact is $7,164,306.

Birchhill Enterprises released the economic impact analysis based on interviews with visitors at the 2011 event. "The number of visitors from more than 50 miles away was very high at 35 percent of total attendance, which boosts the economic impact of the event," said Scott Nagel, president of Birchhill Enterprises, which conducts studies for air shows across the country.

Of the five most recent analyses conducted by Birchhill, Cleveland ranked second for highest impact, running only behind Miramar in California, which is one of the largest free military shows in the country.

The survey also revealed that without the air show, approximately 7,750 residents would have left Northeast Ohio for about two days, spending about $134 each outside the area.

"We always have known air show fans are dedicated, but it was interesting to see that our locally based visitors would be spending their money - more than $1 million - outside Cleveland if not for the air show Labor Day Weekend," said Chuck Newcomb, air show executive director.

Other survey findings:

· 92 percent attend with a group of friends and/or family (more than half include children)

· 74 percent spent between 4.5 and 8 hours at the event - the average time spent was 5.92 hours

· 14 percent attended the show more than one day

· 40 percent have been attending the show at least six years (11 percent have attended 21+ years)

The 2012 Cleveland National Air Show features the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Sept. 1, 2 and 3. The Cleveland National Air Show has been Northeast Ohio's Labor Day Weekend tradition since 1964, attracting 60,000 to 100,000 visitors to Burke Lakefront Airport, making it one of the region's largest annual events.

The Air Show provides six hours of action-packed flying, special exhibits, 50-plus aircraft on display and more. Fans can tour unique aircraft, help pack a parachute, get a picture with a pilot or just enjoy the day-long festival of flying, food and outdoor fun.

Advance general admission tickets are $19 for adults, $12 for children ages 6-11 ($2 more at the gate) and free for children 5 and younger. Advance Box Seat tickets are $30 per person.

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