The Columbus weekend tourism numbers are in, and they spell success for Salem businesses.
After a weekend with unseasonably warm weather and plenty of activity on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, the visitor counts at the Information Booth and Armory Park were stronger than they’ve been the past three years. By Monday afternoon, the count was at 26,101+* Columbus weekend visitors at both locations.
“It’s at least comparable to last year,” said Kathleen Homan of the National Park Service. “We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” she said Monday afternoon.
At both the Information Booth and the Visitor Center, volunteers and staff were keeping track of tourists with hand tally counters.
“It was a picture perfect weekend,” said the city’s Special Projects Coordinator Ellen Talkowsky. “It was as crowded as I have ever seen it for this weekend. It almost felt like Halloween…I think the weather played a very big part; I also think Destination Salem does an amazing job marketing Haunted Happenings,” Talkowsky said.
Talkowsky said she noticed the crowds as early as Thursday during the Halloween Grand Parade and during Friday’s Trick-or-Treat with the Mayor event.
“I walked the whole parade route, and I noticed there were many more people than there were last year. On Friday, the trick-or-treat was the biggest we’ve ever had,” Talkowsky added.
In addition to the crowds, another indicator for the weekend’s success was something visitors were carrying.
“People have shopping bags in their hands, which is a great thing to see,” Talkowsky explained.
Be sure to watch our video for a look at Columbus Weekend tourism in the Witch City, and check the stats below for more information.
Columbus Weekend 2009-2011 (Saturday-Monday)
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Saturday: 8,445; 8,726; 8,991; 11,121
Sunday: 7,542; 8,016; 7,621; 8,477
Monday 3,733; 6,154; 5,016; 6,503+*
Total for Columbus Weekend# 19,720; 22,896; 21,628; 26,101+*
Information courtesy of the National Park Service and the City of Salem.
# All totals are calculated by numbers obtained at the Information Booth in Townhouse Square and the Visitor Center in Armory Park.
*The Monday Visitor Center total (excluding the Information Booth) was obtained 45 minutes prior to closing, thus accounting for the additional uncounted visitors (+). At the time the count was received on Monday afternoon, the count was at approximately 5,400 visitors for the day at the Armory Park location.
Originally published on Salem Patch Oct. 11, 2011.