There has been much positive feedback from visitors, organizers, and participants at the Bicentennial celebration last weekend. What can we quantify, ahead of the final numbers and economic impact estimates?
• “over 50,000—the number of visitors at Put-in-Bay on the four day weekend,” said Julene Market of Miller Ferry, who compiled numbers from their passenger ticket sales, estimate of the Jet Express sales, and from the marinas.
• Complete sell out—the red t-shirts sold by the Perry Group with the bicentennial logo on the front and an OSU Buckeye emblem on the back with “We have met the Wolverines and they are ours”.
• “Many businesses in Port Clinton report their best weekend of sales ever,” Bill Yuhaz of the PORTS committee.
• “3000 tickets were sold to tour the Port Clinton tallships,” Debbie Hymore-Tester, co-chair of the PORTS committee.
• “Last year Labor Day weekend we had 516 visitors. This year the number was 1700,” said Larry Fletcher of the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center.
• “On South Bass lodging was sold out Saturday and Sunday, and occupancy in Port Clinton was strong on the same days,” said Fletcher. “We are communicating with the businesses in the area and will be generating an economic impact report that we hope to have at the end of the month.”
The general consensus was that the weekend’s crowds of visitors and locals alike were on good behavior and peacefully enjoyed the festivities of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Oliver Hazard Perry would have been proud.