From music festivals to next week’s Memorial golf tournament, millions of dollars are being poured into the city’s economy this week.
Tourism officials said that in order to host this many events in one week, the city has to have the hotel space, businesses and venues to keep up, which Columbus now has, saying this weekend is proof of how much Columbus is growing.
Some traveled to the city for the weekend.
“I mean, I’ve been waiting my whole life to see KRS1,” said Cincinnati resident Gary Whitlock, in town for the Riverfront Culture Fest. “I’m a big hip-hop fan.”
Others are taking in their home city.
“It’s exciting,” Columbus resident Jamie Jennings said. “It’s my birthday weekend. The weather is beautiful.”
Either way, those attending events this weekend like Buckeye Country Superfest and Sonic Temple, are fueling the city’s economy.
“I love getting out and enjoying the outdoors and if it brings commerce and helps the economy around here, that’s great,” Whitlock said. “That’s something we all benefit from.”
Tourism officials said events in the first quarter of 2023 brought about $30 million in direct visitor spending. Now officials are expecting next week’s Memorial Tournament to bring in upward of $35 million.
“The most immediate impact is the kind of green off the golf course that comes out of people’s wallets and gets spent and stays here and grows the local economy,” said Jesse Ghiorzi, the marketing director for the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
He said there are a lot of moving parts for weeks like this.
“Having these kinds of facilities and the hotel properties to house the people that are coming in are huge feathers in the cap for the city of Columbus and help folks like us be able to go out there and get these major events,” Ghiorzi said.
He said the more exposure for the city, the better.
“On these national television events like the Memorial, when people are saying “Columbus, Columbus, Columbus” or when people from Sonic Temple or Buckeye Country Superfest are heading back home, they are going to be talking about how they had a great time in Columbus, Columbus was awesome,” Ghiorzi said. “And word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful slice of the marketing buy.”
The Memorial Tournament officially tees off Thursday. The Greater Columbus Sports Commission has also secured the right to host the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating Championships in 2024.