July 4th's economic boom to be felt in downtown Jacksonville

5:48 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of people are expected in downtown Jacksonville for the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Those visitors are expected to have a sizable impact on the downtown economy.

Wendell Anderson, of Savannah, Georgia and his family are in Jacksonville on vacation for the 4th. He is well aware of the money his visit is putting into our economy.

"Spending money on the room and all the food," he explained.

Patty Jimenez with Visit Jacksonville said "Every visitor that comes to Jacksonville and stays at a hotel saves a resident $400 in taxes."

Jimenez went on to explain the economics of the holiday jubilation. FCN asked Jimenez for a rough estimate of how much money might be expected to flow into downtown this week.

"I think it'll be in the millions of dollars, especially when we have the hotels involved and they're seeing their numbers up," she explained.

For example, according to Jimenez, the Hyatt was at 80 percent occupancy on Wednesday. Jimenez said the Crowne Plaza on the Southbank was at 43 percent occupancy on Wednesday. Jimenez said that number was expected to nearly double to 97 percent through the weekend.

Tonisha Landry-Gaines is the city of Jacksonville's director of special events. She said hotels benefit from people spending money and it is an opportunity for downtown to shine.

Darlene Boggs of Jacksonville agrees.

"It'll bring money into it. It's what is needed," she said.

First Coast News

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