An independent study found that the Bank of America Chicago Marathon by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Regional Economics Applications Laboratory continues to be a key economic driver and contributes an estimated $253.49 million in total business activity to the Chicago economy.
This is the first time that the economic impact of the Marathon has exceeded $250 million. By comparison, the impact of the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was $243.46 million.
The new report found the event directly contributed an estimated $101.8 million, distributed among the main sectors of the tourism industry, in addition to another $151.7 million in indirect activity. This is an equivalent of 1,742 full-time jobs and $85.94 million worth of wages and salary income. Further, each dollar spent by a race participant generated an additional $1.29 worth of activity distributed throughout Chicago. Study authors applied the use of the Chicago Region Econometric Input-Output Model to assemble the findings.
"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a demand generator that helps foster increased visitation from around the globe," said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. "In 2013, one-fourth of visitors who traveled to Chicago for the Marathon say it was their first trip ever to Chicago, and 56 percent of participants say their motivation was to run through one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The race strongly supports the efforts to elevate the city of Chicago as a global visitor destination, and we are proud to continue our support."
"Exceeding $250 million for the first time underscores not only the significance of the economic and tourist activity the race brings to the city, but also supports the fact that the Marathon has a personal connection to everyone involved, whether a runner, spectator, business owner, or charity," said Tim Maloney, president, Bank of America Illinois. "We're committed to ensuring everyone associated with the Marathon, including Chicago's businesses and residents, has an enjoyable experience, so we can continue to make a positive impact on the city for many years to come."
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The Bank of America Chicago Marathon drew 40,900 race participants in 2013, with 17 per cent from international locations. Each year, the Marathon attracts new visitors to Chicago and contributes to improving the image of the city as a leading tourist destination, even during a low tourism period helping to reduce the negative effect of seasonality in Chicago tourism.
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