Thursday, May 15, 2008

Question - Economic Impact of Filming

What was the economic impact of the filming of Public Enemies? What about city expenses?

Universal Studios spent a considerable amount of money on services and supplies in the city of Columbus. They made a conscious effort to buy locally as much as possible and many businesses benefited from their purchases. They spent money on lumber and supplies at the local hardware stores, they bought antiques at many of the antique stores in town, they purchased ambulance services, they ate at our restaurants, bought gas at the local gas stations, got a hair cut in town, used the emergency room, went to the dentist for emergency dental work.

All city employee time will be billed to Universal Studios including time for police protection, crowd control, clean up, light removal and replacement, attorney fees, etc. In addition, Universal paid for any city equipment and supplies used including dump truck time, road grader, replacement of cones and barricades lost or damaged. Each department is to turn in their hours to the City Treasurer who will be billing Universal directly.

Universal was generous with their spending and in addition made a contribution to our Auditorium restoration project. This project will benefit the entire city and Universal's contribution will help make this happen.

In hard dollars, Universal Studios, workers, actors, and crew spent at least $500,000 in expenses in Columbus. In addition there were wages paid to employees who worked in Columbus during the filming and construction. I do not have a number for wages at this time, but it will be substantial. There were over 100 people on set for weeks doing construction, dressing windows, painting, etc. They were here several weeks prior to filming and will remain for several weeks putting things back as they were. And remember that these folks ate in Columbus and many of them stayed at the local motel.

We also experienced a huge tourist boom during the filming and continue to have visitors come to our city specifically to see where the film was made. As time goes on we will be able to better measure the tourist impact.

All together a huge economic boom to our community and to the state of Wisconsin. Universal Studios agreed to spend at least $10 million in the state of Wisconsin for the filming in order to qualify for the film credits. In a time of economic downturn, this has been a substantial economic boom to our local economy and to the state.