Victoria Theatre Association's presentation of the Broadway blockbuster WICKED has already moved on to the next city, but Dayton is still feeling the effects of its four-week run.
As the final strains of the blockbuster musical WICKED echoed throughout the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center Sunday night, local businesses, restaurants and hotels breathed a contented sigh of relief after serving more than 54,000 patrons from May 31 through June 24, 2012. VTA's presentation of WICKED grossed more than $4.5 million at the box office which amounts to an estimated economic impact on the Dayton region at $15.75 million.
The estimated $15.75 million economic benefit to Dayton comes from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Broadway League report on Touring Broadway which states that on average Broadway tours contribute to the local metropolitan area's economy an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales.
"It was truly a pleasure to present WICKED to the Miami Valley community for the last month," said Ken Neufeld, President & CEO of Victoria Theatre Association and Arts Center Foundation. "The cast, crew and staff of WICKED were a delight to work with and even participated in local events, like singing the national anthem at a Dayton Dragons game. They also played a significant part in our JPMorgan Chase Foundation Varsity Broadway Summer Camp last week. Because of WICKED's popularity, we have been able to provide a substantial boost to Dayton's economy and downtown nightlife, not to mention reaching new audiences and introducing new generations of theatergoers to the performing arts in our community."
Dayton played host to WICKED's company of more than 80 actors, musicians, production and stage crew during the four-week engagement. The company also hired more than 100 local stagehands, wardrobe, hairdressers and costume assistants as well as local musicians.
WICKED cast and crew stayed at area hotels, dined in local restaurants and bars, and shopped at markets and retail stores.
"Blockbuster shows, such as WICKED, are the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience some of the best downtown has to offer, and the Wicked Deals promotion was designed to encourage the show's patrons to visit downtown's many restaurants, retail stores and more," said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. "This is the third time we've partnered with Victoria Theatre Association to offer special deals to Schuster patrons, and our downtown businesses always benefit from increased exposure and visits, many from first-time customers. We believe these promotions have a long-term economic impact, as our businesses report many of those customers return. Such cross-promotions as Wicked Deals also are an important strategy in the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a blueprint for the future of our center city that calls for better positioning downtown as the region's premier arts and entertainment destination."
"WICKED kept us very busy!" raved Julie Whetstone, manager of the downtown Boston Stoker's. "We extended our hours and participated in the DDP's Wicked Deals with special drinks and Wicked-themed desserts, which resulted in an increase in our daily receipts. Since we were right across the street, we got to know many of the cast who were great supporters of the store. They felt at home enough to crash and unwind here and really appreciated the support the community showed them."
Joe Kiley, manager of Uno's Pizzeria agreed, "The restaurant was packed just about every night! The best part about WICKED being here is that it's a fun four weeks downtown. The businesses get business and it feels festive."
Aiding in the economic impact was Downtown Dayton Partnership's Wicked Deals program where local businesses created drink and menu specials and offered discounts to WICKED patrons, several of whom were from out of town.
For more information regarding Wicked Deals and its economic impact, contact Kristen Wicker, PR/Promotion Manager for Downtown Dayton Partnership at (937)224-1518 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Victoria Theatre Association's Premier Health Partners Broadway Series and other performances, visit www.victoriatheatre.com.