San Diego gay pride festivities bring economic boost

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The 2014 San Diego LGBT Pride Festival and Parade had a $10.9 million impact on the area’s economy and attracted 19,500 people from out of town, according to a report issued Thursday ahead of the 2016 pride festivals.

The study by the San Diego State University Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research, based on around 1,000 interviews, was released at a news conference one day before this year’s Pride events get underway.

"This study reveals that San Diego Pride is an important cultural celebration as well as an economic driver that supports jobs, tourism and local businesses,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "SDSU’s economic impact report shows that even though other cities may have their own celebrations, San Diego remains a premier destination when it comes to Pride festivities."

According to the report, the 2014 total was comprised of $5.67 million of direct impact — spending by non-local sources for hotel rooms, shopping, entertainment and food — and $5.27 million of indirect impact thanks to the extra business generated by Pride activities.

Half the non-local attendees stayed in hotel rooms, averaging 2 1/2 nights, for a total of 10,884 room nights. At an average of $170 a night, the event generated nearly $195,000 in hotel room tax revenue for the city of San Diego. Municipal coffers also benefited from receiving around $95,000 in sales tax revenue.

This year’s Pride event begins Friday night with a block party in Hillcrest and the Spirit of Stonewall rally in Balboa Park. The rally commemorates riots in 1969 in New York against police abuse. The Pride Parade is on Saturday in Hillcrest.

"People in 37 states and 14 countries have already purchased tickets to this weekend’s Pride Music Festival,” said Pride Executive Director Stephen Whitburn. "San Diego is among the world’s most LGBT-friendly cities, and our festival is in beautiful Balboa Park, so San Diego Pride attracts people from around the globe."

The music festival, at Marston Point in Balboa Park, is headlined by Kesha, scheduled to perform on the main stage Saturday beginning at 7:55 p.m.

Categories: Local San Diego News