Discovery Place Special Exhibitions Generate $27.2 Million in Economic Impact

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The special exhibitions presented by Discovery Place during the past five years have contributed $27.2 million in tourism economic impact to the local economy. The blockbusters BODY WORLDS, A Day in Pompeii and most recently Mummies of the World were visited by a combined 562,000 people, more than half of whom lived outside of Mecklenburg County. Mummies of the World, which closed April 8, 2012 was responsible for $6.6 million of economic impact plus an additional $2.2 million in discretionary spending by local residents that was retained in Mecklenburg County.

“The world class exhibitions that Discovery Place has invested in developing and bringing to Charlotte help build the cultural and educational life of our community,” said John Mackay, president and CEO, Discovery Place. “But these studies show that they also contribute to the economic well-being of the region in a meaningful way, and we plan to continue to offer these one-of-a-kind opportunities to the community in future years.”

The BODY WORLDS exhibition was presented at Discovery Place for 6 months in 2007 through 2008 and generated $12.6 million in economic impact while A Day in Pompeii was presented for 6 months in 2008 through 2009 and generated $8.0 million in economic impact. The studies measure the spending only of people who do not live in Mecklenburg County but travel into the region to visit the Museum for the exhibition.

Discovery Place partnered with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority to conduct economic impact studies of its recent exhibitions in order to measure the contributions to the development of the community. The surveys were conducted online and through the mail and data was analyzed using the Mecklenburg County Tourism Impact Model by Elliot D. Pollack & Co.

During the prior five-year period, Discovery Place produced and hosted The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. The economic output impact of this exhibition was $19.2 million according to a study conducted by John Connaughton, Ph.D. using methodology developed by the U.S. government and maintained by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group.

About Discovery Place
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities. Nearly a half-million people from all over the United States engage with Discovery Place and its IMAX Dome Theatre each year.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704-372-6261, visit www.discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Discovery Place Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

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