CLEVELAND — With a big event like the MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland comes big bucks. There are lots of people spending money on hotels, restaurants, shopping and more.
Here’s how it affects your wallet in Cuyahoga County.
Javier Balarezo is in Cleveland from Ecuador. He’s never been to the city before,but was enjoying himself at Play Ball Park in Downtown Cleveland.
"Oh, it's beautiful. I'm really impressed. I'm highly impressed. It's very nice. Very well organized,” Balarezo said.
Forbes Magazine predicts the All-Star festivities will fetch about $65 million for our local economy, some of that from first-time visitors like Sandra Guevara from Dallas, Texas.
“Everybody's friendly. There's a lot of friendly people. Weather is nice. Places to visit are pretty cool,” Guevara said about Cleveland.
According to the tourism group Destination Cleveland, the kinds of impressions we leave with out-of-towners make a huge difference.
“What those people see when they're here, we know changes their perception of Cleveland. We know that seeing is believing,” said Destination Cleveland’s Senior Director of PR Emily Lauer.
Lauer said that 30 percent of site selectors that bring in businesses and more than 30 percent of people who move here come to Cleveland first. They see what we have to offer.
“Without visitation first, we face a much longer and steeper climb to growing Cleveland's population and bringing new business to Cleveland,” Lauer said.
That's why Cleveland needs the big events that eventually feed smaller but still significant conventions, group gatherings and people who want to zip over here for vacations.
Lauer said because tourism has been going so well in recent years, that translates to each household in Cuyahoga County saving about $1,100 per year in taxes.
And word of mouth matters.
"So, will you take back to State College, Pennsylvania how awesome Cleveland is?” News 5 asked Justin Sunderland.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Sunderland said.
Balarezo had the same answer.
"Will you take this back to Ecuador and tell your friends to come to Cleveland?” News 5 asked.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Balarezo laughed.
The only complaint we heard from the out-of-towners?