PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Excitement on the ice translates into a windfall of cash for local businesses.
At the Looney Bin in the strip, folks like Ben Simpko from Wapakoneta, Ohio, are stocking up on t-shirts and other Penguins regalia.
Simpko: In from out of town and can’t wait to see a win.
Sheehan: Going to drop some cash while you’re here?
Simpko: Yeah so far it’s moving pretty quickly.
For owner Paul Dauch, the Penguins’ Stanley Cup run is the gift that keeps on giving.
“Usually on Memorial Day there’s no one here. There’s a ton of people down here today,” he said.
The same holds true at Buford’s Kitchen across from the Consol Energy Center, which is bringing in extra staff and has had a line out front during every playoff game.
The influx of visitors and cash can be seen everywhere, with the steady parade of guest checking into hotels like the downtown Marriott. Visit Pittsburgh estimates that local hospitality businesses are raking in more than $4 million every home playoff game.
“Taking into account that this is our 10th home game, that’s over $40 million dollars into our local economy by the Penguins,” said Tom Loftus with Visit Pittsburgh.
In addition to that somewhat temporary monetary boost, the exposure solidifies Pittsburgh’s reputation as a comeback city.
“When you talk about the national, intentional exposure we’re receiving, the beauty shots of Pittsburgh, we would never afford that kind of advertising. So we’re really grateful to the Penguins and the organization,” Loftus said.