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Friday, May 17, 2024

Parents' weekend expected to generate large revenue

First-Year Parents weekend brings an influx of parents dining out, shopping on State Street and sleeping at hotels - all activities that flood Madison's economy with over a million dollars each year.  


According to a recent survey conducted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, parents' weekend brought in $1.25 million last year and officials plan for a similar amount to arise over this year's event, which should attract over 700 families to the area this weekend.  


According to Kate Dixon, director of communications for WAA, families spend an average of $1,172 during the weekend in several areas of the economy.  


We know many families take advantage of State Street and go out to eat and do some local shopping,"" Dixon said. ""People from out of state or who are from further away in Wisconsin need a place to stay, so they are booking hotel rooms '¦ it is a multi-pillar of all those different expenses.""  


Mary Carbine, executive director of Madison's Central Business Improvement District, said UW-Madison has a great economic impact on the central downtown area, especially in the areas of dining, lodging and shopping.  


Carbine cited a recent downtown market analysis, in which parents and friends spend $8.4 million annually on various types of expenses.  


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Members from the Business Improvement District will be present at events throughout the weekend to hand out maps and direct families to Madison's finest attractions. 


""Any weekend that brings lot of parents and alumni to the university and downtown is one that our businesses look forward to,"" Carbine said.  


According to Carbine, the UW-Madison alumni base is among the top 10 in the nation in terms of size with 175,000 alums living within a five-hour driving distance from the university.  


""The alumni sector is also an important base that serves the downtown area,"" she said. 


In 2007, First-Year Parents' Weekend attracted 2,790 visitors to the university from 22 states.  


Dixon said WAA conducted the survey for the first time in 2007, but the organization plans to continue it in the future. 

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