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Star-Spangled Sailabration Boasts $166 Million Impact on Economy

Report by Pittsburgh firm says the June festival generated huge sum for Baltimore area.

Organizers of this summer's Star-Spangled Sailabration say the receipts are in, and the 200th anniversary celebration of the War of 1812 towed in more than $166 million for the Baltimore area economy.

According to a study conducted by Pittsburgh-based Forward Analytics, the week-long festival was the largest event ever in terms of economic impact in the state's history.

The June 13-19 celebration drew about 1.54 million people, including 28 percent from outside Maryland, according to organizers. It also drew 45 tall ships from around the world to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and brought the Blue Angels to Martin State Airport.

The $166 million includes $97.7 million in direct spending by non-local visitors, sponsors, vendors and event hosts. Visitors spent an average of $80 per person in the city, according to the report. By the study's calculations, the Sailabration generated $1.5 million in tax reciepts for the city and $5.7 million for the state. The study credits the Sailabration with creating the equivalent to 4,047 jobs.

"Our restaurants, hotels and attractions were packed to the brim," Don Fry, president of Star-Spangled 200 and president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said in an announcement. "Sailabration enlivened businesses everywhere from the waterfront and Federal Hill to Fell's Point and Locust Point."

To put the numbers in perspective, one Baltimore Ravens game attracts as much as $25 million in outside spending in a weekend. A report on the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix—also conducted by Forward Analytics—found the event generated $47 million in economic impact.

You tell us: What do you think about the report? What did you think about the Star-Spangled Sailabration?

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