Gay Games organizers project $40M in revenue for Cleveland - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Gay Games organizers project $40M in revenue for Cleveland

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Those walking around Ohio City can design chalk drawings after they grab a bite to eat at a busy restaurant. (Source: WOIO) Those walking around Ohio City can design chalk drawings after they grab a bite to eat at a busy restaurant. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The economic impact of Gay Games 9 will be felt throughout the Cleveland and Akron areas over the next week, but in Ohio City, business is already booming.

Lisa Fado, who traveled from El Salvador to play softball in the competition, is one of the 30,000 participants and visitors here this week.

"It's beautiful here. The people are super nice and I'm enchanted to be here," said Fado.

Gay Games organizers project the games will generate $40 million from hotels, restaurants, and merchandise.

The event is generating opportunities for local artists. Debra Solceky is a chalk artist who was hired to create her artwork in Ohio City's Market Square.

"When they asked me, I was trying to think of artwork that would embody the spirit of the games, something like releasing all this energy and color into our city," said Solceky, describing her artwork.

There were lots of colors and dollars released in the Ohio City business district, as patrons grabbed a bite to eat, and then stopped to decorate the sidewalk with chalk.

"Ohio City is booming with visitors," said Sam McNulty, who owns several businesses in Ohio City, including Market Garden.

"Here at Market Garden, we have folks calling ahead like, 'Hey! We got a 30 tab on Monday night. Can we come in?' And we're like, 'Absolutely!'" said McNulty.

McNulty says he's already seen profit increase this weekend, but he believes Cleveland is gaining much more than just revenue.

"It's two fold. The Games are great for Cleveland financially and as a whole, and the psyche impact of people to feeling excited about Cleveland. I'm jazzed to live in Cleveland that much more because we're a very open-minded and progressive city," said McNulty.

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