Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Other big economic engines

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The $3 billion annual economic impact of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center places it second in the Tristate. Here is how other studies assessed the impact of other enterprises and projects:

        • Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport: In 1998, an airport-commissioned study reported an overall economic impact of $3.9 billion, including direct and indirect spending. With approval to build a new north-south runway, the airport's economic impact would increase to $6.4 billion within five years.

        • Hosting 2012 Olympics: In July, a study by the University of Cincinnati's economic research group predicted that $5.2 billion would flow into Ohio and Kentucky as a result of the 17-day event if Cincinnati wins the bidding competition. Of that, $2.8 billion would be direct construction and tourism spending. Another $2.65 billion would come from indirect impacts — such as the games attracting businesses to the region.

        • Riverfront West, Covington: A UC study this year predicted that the proposed $277 million Riverfront West project would generate one-time construction gains of $399 million, plus $414 million a year in direct and indirect businesses and tourism spending. The Riverfront West development would include a public plaza, office towers, residential units, restaurants, entertainment venues and retail space, and an 1,800-space parking garage.

        • Reds and Bengals stadiums: In 1996, a UC study projected that new stadiums for the Reds and Bengals would generate a one-time construction boom of $1.13 billion, including direct and indirect spending. Ongoing stadium-related economic impact would be $296 million a year, including direct and indirect spending. The study was commissioned by project supporters as part of efforts to pass a sales tax increase and was attacked by critics as overly optimistic.

        • Toyota parts distribution center in Boone County: In July, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce predicted a proposed $85 million warehouse for Toyota would have an total annual impact of nearly $200 million; including supporting 2,035 additional jobs in the region.

        • Cincinnati convention center expansion: In 1998, a task force predicted that a $325 million plan to expand the convention center would spur $113 million in new spending by visitors for an overall economic impact of $189 million.

        • Public festivals: In May, a UC study projected about 540,000 out-of-towners will spend an estimated $89 million at 11 Cincinnati festivals including Taste of Cincinnati, Coors Light Jazz Festival/Ujima Cinci-Bration, Oktoberfest 2000 and Riverfest. By the time that money is re-spent by local businesses, the total impact grows to $183 million.

        • Newport Aquarium: In February, a UC study projected the economic impact of the new aquarium at $80 million to $100 million a year, based on attendance and employment.


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