Survey: Cleveland National Air Show generates $7.1 million over Labor Day weekend event

CLEVELAND - Visitors, vendors and locals spend more than $7.1 million annually in the Greater Cleveland area as a result of the Labor Day Weekend Cleveland National Air Show, according to a survey.

Birchhill Enterprises released the economic impact analysis based on interviews with visitors at the 2011 event.

"The number of visitors from more than 50 miles away was very high at 35 percent of total attendance, which boosts the economic impact at the event," said Scott Nagel, president of Birchhill Enterprises, which conducts studies for air shows across the country.

Vendors and visitors from out of town contribute $1.72 million to the Cleveland economy. When factoring in local attendees, the air show's budget and related taxes, the overall economic impact is averaged at $7.16 million.

Of the five most recent analyses done by the company, Cleveland ranks second highest, only behind Miramar in California, which is one of the largest free military shows in the country.

The survey also revealed without the show, roughly 7,750 residents would've left northeast Ohio for the holiday weekend, spending about $134 each outside the region.

"We always have known air show fans are dedicated, but it was interesting to see that our locally based visitors would be spending theirmoney -- more than $1 million -- outside Cleveland if not for the air show Labor Day weekend," explained Chuck Newcomb, air show executive director.

Other findings by the survey:
- 92 percent attend the air show with a group of people
- 74 percent spend between 4.5-8 hours at the event
- 14 percent come more than one day
- 40 percent have been a regular visitor at least 6 years

The Cleveland National Air Show attracts 60,000-100,000 visitors to the Burke Lakefront Airport every year. It's one of the region's largest events.

Tickets to the event are $19 per person, $12 for children, in advance. Each ticket will be $2 more at the door.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit or call (216) 781-0747.

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