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Arts, Beats & Eats impact: $35.1M for economy, $337,000 for charities (Daily Tribune)

Published October 9, 2012 by the Daily Tribune.

By Catherine Kavanaugh.

 

Published: 10.09.12| Updated: 10.09.12

ROYAL OAK — All the gala preview tickets, parking and admission fees, beverage sales, and shopping during Ford Arts, Beats & Eats added up for area charities and the overall economy.

The 15th annual festival generated $337,000 for about 60 non-profit and cultural organizations – $119,000 of that for Royal Oak-based groups -- and gave the area an economic boost of $35.1 million.

It was the second best year for both charities and businesses, Jon Witz, event producer, announced Monday. As always, good weather helped bring out crowds, he said.

Attendance was pegged at 390,000 with 159,280 people paying $3-$5 to get into the festival. The others donated canned goods to the Citizen Bank Hunger Initiatives, went during free hours, or received complimentary passes from sponsorship packages or new outreach efforts, such as Autism Days.

The Deaf Arts Festival also debuted this year.

“This year was a special one,” Witz said.

The $35.1 million figure for the economic impact of the festival is preliminary, he added. It is based on the Michigan tourism spending and economic impact model (MITEIM) developed for the state tourism industry. Of that amount, an estimated $13.8 million was spent on total bar, restaurant and retail revenues.

Pronto’s does so well, it can afford to close its restaurant and corner store the day after four-day, Labor Day weekend festival. The same goes for Five15 media Mojo & More across the street.

“It’s definitely the best weekend for us,” said Richard Payton, manager of the coffee and gift shop. “The festival absolutely turns what was the worst weekend into a really big one. I worked 12- and 14-hour days. We were busy the whole time. Everybody got something to drink at least. We sold a lot of smoothies, Italian sodas and beverage in general.”

The city of Royal Oak no longer gets a cut of the admission gate proceeds but it keeps almost all of the $10- and $15-a-car parking fees. The city will pay $8,500 to several organizations that supported parking operations.

“The city doesn’t get anything for gate proceeds and we don’t get anything for parking,” Witz said.

Admission fees totaling $140,250 went to 15 groups: American Red Cross, Autism Alliance, Autism Speaks, Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County, The Children’s Center, Children’s Miracle Network/Hope Center, Detroit Public Television, Detroit Rescue Mission, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, JARC, Jewish Federation, March of Dimes, The Rainbow Connection, and Volunteers of America Michigan.

The beverage booths brought in $81,000 for 27 groups, including Aids Walk Detroit, Planned Parenthood, Royal Oak High School’s Model United Nations, Royal Oak Football Team, Inc., Royal Oak’s Jaycees, Lion’s Club and Women’s Club, Shrine Catholic, St. Mary’s Church, St. Paul’s Church and the YMCA.

The St. Mary’s Men’s Club sold water, pop and energy drinks and the church rented its parking lot to The Fifth for condo residents who couldn’t get into their parking deck entrance on Washington Avenue.

“We were crazy busy with water and Gatorade sales on the Friday. It was a busy opening day,” said St. Mary’s Men’s Club member James Torres, who helped staff 150 shifts with volunteers. “Everyone is happy to do it. It’s a fellowship sort of thing to work side by side and sweat in the heat.”

The club will use its money for school and young adult field trips.

“The way the festival involves local charities works out nicely,” Torres said.

St. Mary’s Church, First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak, and Royal Oak First United Methodist also will share $10,750 from festival parking donations.

Ten groups will split $30,971 from the festival preview gala Arts Du Jour. They include the Arthritis Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Oakland, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, Planned Parenthood, Rainbow Connection, Rose Hill Center, South Oakland Shelter, and Arts, Beats & Eats Foundation.

Planned Parenthood will use its money for reproductive health education and advocacy, said Desiree Cooper, spokesperson for the group.

“For us, you can’t measure everything in dollars,” Cooper said. “We were at Arts, Beats & Eats with a booth for the first time and it was really well received. Education is key for us. That’s why we’re putting our share of the money into outreach.”

In addition to giving away festival passes to everyone who donated canned goods to Gleaners, Citizens Bank also matched $4,000 in winnings from its money booth with a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.

During its three years in Royal Oak, festival-goers have donated 29,577 pounds of food through the Citizen Bank offer.

The best year for charities and businesses was 2010, when the festival moved from Pontiac to Royal Oak and 423,000 people turned out for the concerts, food and art fair.

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