Erie Events continues to make a positive impact in the community through entertainment, sports and other shows hosted at its downtown venues. The first two months of this year alone brought thousands of people to events at the Erie Insurance Arena, the Warner Theatre and the Bayfront Convention Center. When patrons attend a game, show, expo or performance, other businesses in the surrounding area benefit from the draw of the crowd. Restaurant owners recognize the importance of Erie Events in the community to help sustain business at their establishments.
It’s all about location, location, location for Cloud 9 Wine Bar, situated in the center of the arts and culture district. Bertrand Artigues, Cloud 9 owner, says his new location helped his business take off from day one. “I couldn’t be happier for this move,” he said. “Those events prove that Erie people want to come in and spend time downtown.” The wine bar is now just a few blocks from the Warner Theatre, the Erie Insurance Arena and UPMC Park. Artigues says attendees of the Erie Philharmonic concerts, Broadway in Erie performances, SeaWolves games and other entertainment audiences fill the establishment on a show night or game day. “Every time there is an event, we are so busy here,” he said. “I almost wish we could be bigger.”
Friday, February 17th, nearly 5,000 people attended the I love the 90s concert at the Erie Insurance Arena; Friday, February 24th, Thomas Rhett’s Home Team Tour attracted more than 7,300 to the Erie Insurance Arena; and on a Monday night in February when it would typically be quiet downtown, Broadway in Erie’s “Pippin” brought more than 1,500 patrons out for the show. The Bayfront Convention Center attracted large crowds on three separate weekends, with more than 9,000 attending the Auto Show, approximately 6,400 at the RV, Powersports and Camping Expo and more than 5,800 at the Sport and Travel Expo.
Those well-attended events provide trickle-down direct spending at many local restaurants and businesses. Although Erie Events venues are located in downtown Erie, patrons attending events spill over into the surrounding area. John Melody, founder of the UPick6 brand in Erie, with establishments in Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, says business increases on event days, even at his Harbocreek and Millcreek restaurants. “Anytime there’s an event, particularly on an off night, not a Friday or Saturday, you see an uptick in business and you can attribute they’re going to an event,” Melody says.
Calamari’s, a downtown staple since 1996, also gives Erie Events recognition for helping local restaurants and its employees. “All shows and sporting events in downtown have a positive economic impact on our sales, said Marci Honard, co-owner of Calamari’s. “We absolutely would suffer if there wasn’t an entertainment district in downtown Erie. We definitely would not have survived this long!”
Erie Events works diligently to uphold its mission to provide world-class convention facilities and entertainment venues throughout the region to visits and residents, their families and friends. Erie Events strives to present a diverse selection of performing arts and sporting events enjoyable not just to residents of our own community, but also to meeting and convention visitors, travelers and vacationers. By following this mission, Erie Events will continue to provide a positive economic impact that benefits local businesses.
The trend at local businesses will continue as the Erie Otters begin the playoff run March 23 and the Erie SeaWolves begin the 2017 season at UPMC Park April 6.