Rock Hall inductions generate thousands of customers for downtown Cleveland businesses

CLEVELAND - The official numbers haven't been released yet, but business was definitely booming in downtown Cleveland during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction week.

"We look at it as widely successful," said Joseph Marinucci, president of the Cleveland Downtown Alliance. "Cleveland is front and center in terms of the rock and roll world. That's not something you can measure in terms of the impact."

It's been reported that the induction ceremony may have generated $20 million for the city. That can only mean good things for Cleveland when next year the Senior Games arrive and in 2014 we host the Gay Games.

Both international events are expected to also draw large crowds.

"Obviously now, this is our second induction ceremony that we have done," Marinicci said. "I think the world will start to recognize that Cleveland is a place where you can do these sorts of things, do them effectively and the community will rally around and support these types of events."

An outside organization said Cleveland generated $13 million in 2009 at the last induction ceremony. This past weekend's event was bigger and local business could feel it.

"This weekend was great energy," said Mary Lessick, marketing director at the Corner Alley and 4th Street Bar and Grill. "It was good to see people on E. 4th Street. We had crowds day and night. People were bowling, eating and it was a lot of fun."

Lessick said about two months ago the Corner Alley got a call from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They rented out the bowling alley for family and friends during induction weekend.

Michael Grasso, general manager of Zocalo Mexican Grill and Tequileria, was ecstatic about the customers the induction ceremony brought.

"Especially on Sunday, I've never seen the city so alive," he said, while sitting outside the restaurant during lunch hour. "It was packed downtown. It felt like a weekend night."

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