Thousands of Visitors Spent Millions of Dollars in Northeast Ohio During the Gay Games

20,000 participants from Shaker Heights to China came to the Games
20,000 participants from Shaker Heights to China came to the Games
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Naysayers doubted Northeast Ohio had the appeal and tolerance of higher profile cities that had had hosted the Gay Games in the past, like New York, San Francisco or Cologne. But, a new report from Kent State University indicates that the region was able to overcome such bad perceptions to the tune of 20,000 visitors and 52.1-million-dollars. Gay Games executive director Thomas Nobbe says many cities around the world are vying for the LGBT tourist dollar.

THOMAS NOBBE: The community tends to have more discretionary income than other communities, especially the ones who travel. And the Gay Games were considered for many, if not most, a vacation, because they were coming on their own dime, and most people had to take a week.

And during that week, the study says the visitors spent their dimes and dollars in local hotels, restaurants, clubs, and stores. Nobbe suggests the region was also able to shake off some negative impressions of the rust belt as a place to visit.

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