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DNC Convention a Total Waste: Dem projection falls short by 90 percent
Boston Herald ^

Posted on 08/10/2004 12:10:01 AM PDT by Jenya

DNC a total waste: Dem projection falls short by 90 percent

The Democratic National Convention netted Boston's economy just $14.8 million, less than a tenth of what city officials promised, a local think tank reported yesterday - a claim quickly rejected by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

In total, the event brought in $156.7 million in extra spending, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University found. But BHI said the loss of events that could have happened and the drop in commuter spending cost the city $141.9 million.

Menino read the report differently, however.

``According to this, we have victory because they claimed we'd lose money,'' the mayor crowed. ``This shows we made money. The Beacon Hill Institute just doesn't know how to take that.''

Menino also rejected the bottom-line figure as too low, claiming that BHI researchers failed to account for major items.

At the economic think tank, executive director Dave Tuerck said the DNC's impact would have been even worse, but only if all the lost shoppers, tourists and commuters had shown up instead of staying away.

``If people had reacted by trying to get in as usual, we would have ended up in the red,'' said Tuerck.

BHI said Sail Boston and the 2004 Olympic Gymnastic Trials would have brought in about $110 million without the need for massive road closures and other security measures.

Menino and others faulted BHI's projections as too high. Furthermore, they say the DNC's total impact can't be measured just by looking at the four convention days.

``You have to look at the guys who were here two to three weeks ahead of time,'' Menino said. He added that some conventioneers also stayed for the weekend, spending money here that they wouldn't have otherwise.

``This analysis doesn't account for that,'' Menino huffed.

City officials and convention backers, who projected a gain of $154 million, maintained that the event was a success and that the report isn't inclusive enough, putting too much emphasis on financial woes and missing workers.

But many city merchants and others suffered because their regular customers - local workers - stayed away. And tight-fisted delegates, who were wined and dined all week, didn't spend as much as hoped, Tuerck said.

That was true at Empire Photo on Causeway Street, near the FleetCenter, where Sinasi Birgun was hoping for a business boom.

``They scared people away so no one was buying anything,'' said the merchant.

He added that personally, he was happy Boston hosted the DNC. ``I just wish they would have spent some more money here.''

More precise information about the DNC's economic effect will be clearer when sales and hotel tax data become available in a few weeks, said Paul Guzzi, chief of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Guzzi judged the event a success.

TOPICS: Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: boston; dncconvention

1 posted on 08/10/2004 12:10:01 AM PDT by Jenya
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To: Jenya

The shouldn't have rounded up the street walkers the night before.

2 posted on 08/10/2004 12:14:14 AM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: Jenya

Lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

3 posted on 08/10/2004 1:19:56 AM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Lie down with commies and you get disease too.

4 posted on 08/10/2004 1:21:18 AM PDT by Luke21 (Christ is wonderful)
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To: Jenya

I am waiting to donate to the RNC the week of the convention. I want to push the chips in their favor as much as possible. George definitely gets my dollar.

5 posted on 08/10/2004 1:23:33 AM PDT by Cate (Bush is da' man...)
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To: Jenya

I have to figure with the a-holes running around disturbing the city all week it will cost the city big bucks...not to mention lives.

I hop Fox or the NY Post does a study on how many people die because ambulances are stuck in traffic jams caused by protesters.

6 posted on 08/10/2004 7:17:29 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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