It’s no secret that the economic shutdown ordered to slow the spread of COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the economy.
But seeing actual numbers is still shocking.
This week, President of the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Henri Fourrier presented the numbers for 2020 to the Greensboro City Council during a work session.
According to Fourrier, the loss to the city in economic impact is $182 million.
Fourrier said, “Selling a hotel room is like selling a slot of time and once that slot of time has passed you can’t make it up.”
Fourrier noted that the report included a list of events that were canceled. He didn’t talk about the list, but it is over five pages long of small type. If you’re looking for a silver lining, it would be that the CVB had attracted all of those events to Greensboro and Fourrier said, “A lot of these want to come back.”
The CVB also received $4.8 million from Guilford County to fill the hole in its budget caused by the lack of hotel-motel tax revenue. Fourrier said that because of that money the CVB would be able to fund The Tanger Center for the Performing Arts as planned.
Fourrier reported that “it got really bad in June, but the good news is that it is starting to inch back up.”
Fourrier said that the CVB was able to cut internal costs by being “very strategic” about advertising. He said he made no sense to advertise when people weren’t traveling and every event of any size was being cancelled.
He said, “We’re starting to see a loosening of that mentality. It’s still not there, but it is getting better.”
Fourrier said, “As we move forward, the things keeping us afloat are soccer and swimming and diving.”
He noted that the Adidas Clash soccer tournament later in November needed 17 fields and Greensboro Parks and Recreation was only offering to allow them to use 11.
Fourrier asked for any help the City Council could give in acquiring access to the additional fields, noting that adding the six fields requested would result in 600 more people coming to Greensboro.