Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) June 21, 2012
The Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) has announced the results of a 2010 economic activity study of a historic entertainment area of Washington, DC. The study firmly establishes the economic value of nightlife in “MidCity,” which encompasses the U Street Corridor, 14th Street and Logan Circle.
RHI is a California based non-profit organization providing technical assistance that builds local capacity, incubates and shares cutting-edge strategies on enhancing vibrancy and assuring safety in the nighttime economy.
Surveys completed by 40 out of 90+ businesses in the study area were used to project annual sales of $195 million, while generating an estimated $15 million in DC sales tax, creating more than 2,000 jobs while potentially serving more than 25,000 residents and visitors on peak operating nights. Numbers at this scale in only one of the DC area’s multiple nightlife districts demonstrate that the nighttime economy is a major economic generator in urban settings.
“With the information from this study, and the opportunity to replicate it in districts throughout DC, we are now in a better position to advocate for our members’ continued viability and the undeniable position of nightlife as a leading industry in the DC metropolitan area,” says Lynne Breaux, president, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and co-sponsor of the study.
The study serves as a prototype for other DC districts challenged by balancing demands for more dining and entertainment venues with increased impacts on government services to assure safety and residential quality of life. Future studies can analyze the value of nightlife in relation to the fiscal impacts of managing nighttime activity.
RHI’s work in more than 50 US and Canadian cities has established the widespread need to document the direct and indirect contributions of nightlife (defined by RHI as dining and entertainment venues where people socialize at night) to the local economy. While studies have been conducted to document the overall economic activity within a city, this study focuses more narrowly on a specific district to help define management and resource needs of one particular area of a city.
“As city budgets get tighter, policy makers need more accurate information to determine how to best plan for the future while managing the present demand for places to socialize at night,” notes the study’s lead consultant, Tom Moriarity, Principal, The Eisen Group. “The economic value of nightlife is best identified by real revenues generated within specific time periods, and RHI’s study captured data not usually available through conventional sources.”
The groundbreaking findings of this study can be used in various ways. Improving public perception of the nightlife industry as a legitimate economic sector will be critical to allocating resources necessary for managing public safety and quality of life impacts associated with nighttime activity, and in understanding its roles in activating zones that create Sociable Cities in the US and other countries.
Recognizing the importance of the “other 9 to 5” and its role in the local economy is key to the future of DC and any city wanting to maximize a diverse stream of revenue, employment and amenities to attract industry, visitors and residents.
The study was supported by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control, and Diageo and will be among four to be presented at RHI’s Sociable City Leadership Summit on July 12-13 in Silver Spring, MD. Other cities to showcase their research on nightlife management and planning are San Francisco, Edmonton, New York and London.
Additional information is available at http://www.RHIweb.org/summit/economic or 831.469.3396.