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Dallas-Fort Worth Expects $700M Bump from Solar Eclipse

Experts predict that the celestial event could drive millions of dollars for local businesses, including a $179.8 million boost to the restaurant industry and $221.8 million for hotels.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s local businesses are looking to cash major paychecks from the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8.

The once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon could generate $689.7 million in total spending to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with tourists expected to spend $201.6 million, according to research from Waco-based Texas economic analysis firm The Perryman Group.

The study looks at direct expenditure, which refers to how much tourists will spend, and total expenditure, meaning the downstream effects such as how much supply chains will spend to keep up with the abnormally high demand for goods and services in the area.

Texas businesses in the path of totality are looking at economic gains in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The study predicts that, in total, tourists will spend $179.8 million in the restaurant industry, $280.6 million on retail and another $221.8 million on rental options such as hotels.

Dallas County, in particular, is expected to spend $307.9 million. But when adding up some of the area’s suburbs, such as Plano and Irving, that number jumps to $492.5 million.

San Antonio’s expected total expenditure sits in second place as it’s expected to reach $227 million, while Austin earns the bronze medal with an expected total expenditure of $200.9 million, barely edging out Fort Worth, which is expecting a total expenditure of $197.2 million.

The Dallas- Plano- Irving area’s projected $147.6 million in tourist dollars is far more than any other area. The study predicts that Austin- Round Rock- Georgetown ($74.6 million), San Antonio- New Braunfels ($63.2 million) and Fort Worth- Arlington- Grapevine ($53.9 million) will trail behind by tens of millions of dollars.

Dallas County and the region’s secret sauce comes down to its already large community, which is expected to get temporarily bigger for the eclipse, said Ray Perryman, founder and CEO of The Perryman Group.

“Dallas County is the most populous area along the route and has convenient transportation access, as well as the hotels, restaurants and other amenities to support the tourists,” he said. “In addition, it gets a substantial share of the downstream effects even from other areas, as goods that are purchased in other areas are often manufactured, marketed or distributed through larger hubs.”

In the Dallas- Irving- Plano area, Denton County and Collin County are expected to be some of the biggest spenders, with the counties expecting a total economic expenditure of $74.6 million and $85.8 million, respectively. The study predicts that tourists will spend more than $20 million for the eclipse in each area.

Though the eclipse will only last in Dallas County for less than four minutes, the opportunity for the city and its outlying suburbs is enormous, Perryman said.

“The eclipse can certainly have a positive impact on Dallas County. You can think of it something like a major convention or sports event coming to town and receiving external media coverage,” he said. “It provides an opportunity for the area to show its strengths and encourage future visits and activity.”

When you zoom out, the Lone Star State could see a total expenditure of $1.4 billion from the eclipse, with tourists spending approximately $427.7 million, according to the research.

It could be enough to make a small difference in the state, Perryman said.

“This is projected to add about $1.4 billion in total spending and $750 million in gross state product. That amount is significant and will generate about $70.2 million in state tax revenue and $37 million to local governments,” he said. “These sources, while not a large percentage of the total fiscal budget in Texas, will provide additional resources to meet public needs.”

©2024 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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