The City of Clarksburg and West Virginia University released the results of the Economic Impact Study of the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center today, August 24th, 2016 to a full house within Council Chambers.
In attendance from the City of Clarksburg were City Manager Martin Howe, Assistant City Manager Anthony Bellotte, Mayor Catherine Goings, Vice Mayor James Malfregeot, Councilman Robert Caplan, Councilman Gary Bowden and Councilman Ryan Kennedy. In addition, City of Bridgeport’s Mayor Robert Greer, Recorder Charlene Louk of the Town of Nutter Fort as well as members of the Clarksburg Water Board were also present to show their support.
The study, published by West Virginia University College of Business and Economics, was presented by John Deskins, Ph.D., Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
After the event concluded, City Manager Martin Howe stated, “Fostering culture and arts of this magnitude will be successful with the City of Bridgeport and the other surrounding cities and towns supporting the project. There is ongoing collaboration and cooperation amongst the various cities and towns whom will benefit from the tourism dollars brought into Harrison County.”
The City of Clarksburg is in the process of restoring and renovating the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center located in the city’s downtown area. The renovation promises to bring a historic landmark back into use as a center for music and other arts performances. This report conservatively estimates the impact of this renovation on Harrison County’s economy to be 32 million through the first five (5) years. The report also concludes that there will be a positive impact within tourism, which is defined by individuals whom reside outside of Harrison County that would patronize the Robinson Grand and surrounding county businesses.
The economic value of the Robinson Grand renovation encompasses a number of different types of economic impacts. The renovation construction provides a short-term economic boost to the local economy, as contractors purchase materials and hire local workers. Additionally, once the renovation is complete, and the center opens, it will have regular operational expenditures that are spent in the local economy. Furthermore, performances at the center will bring visitors to the county, which will attract additional tourism income to county businesses and residents. All of these expenditures constitute the economic benefit the renovation project will have on Harrison County.
The report begins with a discussion of economic impact methodology, followed by the impact estimates, and the total impact over the first five years of operation. The report ends by discussing additional potential impacts to the area.