The street race helped pump up weekend revenues at a sampling of hotels by 44 percent compared with
The figures, compiled by the research firm Forward Analytics, were released Thursday by Mayor
The mayor, who championed the Grand Prix, said the event exceeded her expectations. More than 100,000 tickets were sold, data from Ticketfly showed.
"I saw the event as an opportunity for my city, the city I love, to shine," Rawlings-Blake said Thursday at a news conference, surrounded by race and business officials. "I was on a high all weekend, knowing that people all over the world could see the city. This was about giving Baltimore an opportunity to shine."
Forward Analytics and the city tourism bureau, Visit Baltimore, expect to release a comprehensive analysis of the race's economic impact next month.
In pitching the event, Baltimore Racing Development projected an economic impact — including hotel room bookings and food, entertainment and shopping revenues — of some $70 million.
The jump in revenue at the 11 hotels surveyed, all but one of which are downtown, will likely be mirrored in the larger sample to be considered in the final report, Noonan said. That analysis will incorporate Smith Travel Research numbers on rates, revenue and occupancy for all downtown hotels.
Some hotels reported that they were able to sell out rooms on a weekend that otherwise would see their facilities just half full.
The hotel also sold more food and beverages than expected, she said.
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel also reported strong results, according to a city official. Compared to the four-day Labor Day weekend in 2010, the hotel booked 473 more room nights, a 29 percent jump. It also raised its average rate by about $100 a night, a 73 percent increase, and saw a bump in revenue of $276,000, a 124 percent rise. Its food and drink sales from Sept. 2 to 5 totaled more than $155,500, two and a half times the previous year's Labor Day take.
For area restaurants, Grand Prix business was hit or miss, officials acknowledged Thursday.
Noonan said business boomed for some restaurants, including
Michelle Torres, a spokesperson for Phillips Harborplace, echoed the feelings of many restaurant owners, even the disappointed ones. "It was a learning experience," Torres said in an interview. "We'll all do better next year."
Baltimore Racing Development said Thursday that it paid local contractors more than $3 million to help stage the event.
Figures released by
A July race in Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada, was watched by 642,000 viewers. Baltimore officials in May 2010 estimated a television audience of 3.5 million for the Grand Prix.
But Rawlings-Blake said the television coverage succeeded in giving people worldwide a glimpse of what Baltimore has to offer — which, she said, could pay off in increased tourism.