Taylor Swift fans are a force to be reckoned with — and so are their wallets. Swift's presence this summer comes at a time where hospitality businesses could really use a boost.
"She was the first album that I ever owned. I got her 'Fearless' album with my dad when I was like, 7. So I've listened to her for 16 years, 17 years," said Ava Anderson, a Swift fan waiting in line to buy merchandise for the Seattle stop on the Eras Tour.
Anderson and Caden Hernandez are passing the time making Taylor-themed bracelets, a now tradition on the tour. Anderson is a local, but Hernandez had quite the journey to get here.
"I'm living in Fresno right now, so I worked from 6:00 a.m. to 11 and then drove to Monterey and then we flew out," she said.
Hernandez is an example of the power Swift has, and people coming in from out-of-state to go to these shows are providing an incredible boost to local economies.
CoStar Group, a hotel research firm, says that at the tour's half-way point in June, it generated $98.2 million in revenue for hotels. For example, when Swift played three sold out shows in Chicago, Choose Chicago tweeted out that hotel occupancy set a new record.
This just in! 🚨
Chicago set its new all-time record for total hotel rooms occupied!
Thanks to three nights of Taylor Swift, the ASCO Annual Meeting, the James Beard Awards and more.
This isn’t just post-pandemic–we had more rooms filled than ever in Chicago’s history! pic.twitter.com/OqEGB3ZB2C
— Choose Chicago (@ChooseChicago) June 7, 2023
In Seattle this weekend, the latest stop on the tour, CoStar says hotel bookings are at 93% full, which is up from 70% this weekend last year.
"We've had some difficult times, as most of the country has, but to get back to 2019 numbers, it's gonna take a big lift. And it's events like this, it's weekends like this that really are going to position us for that recovery," said Michael Woody, senior Vice President of Visit Seattle.
He says people making the trip to the city, spending money on lodging and restaurants, is a needed boost for a post-pandemic recovery as the city strives to get visitation numbers up.
Swift may come and go, but Woody hopes the introduction to Seattle by way of the Eras tour inspires people to keep visiting.
"We're excited we get to welcome all of the Swifties here to town — and for us, more importantly, not only is it just for them to come for the concert, but we hope they spend a little bit of time with us," he said.
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