Charlotte leaders ecstatic about results of DNC

By Mitch Weiss

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Sept. 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

"No one really bothers measuring up the number of Bank of America people who aren't in town working. But they are happy to include all the delegates in town spending money," said Victor Matheson, an economics professor at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., who has studied the effects of large events on cities.

Matheson added that even anecdotally, he hasn't seen much evidence that big events like a convention draw businesses seeking to relocate.

"Obviously these events put cities in the limelight. But usually what people remember out of this is not necessarily the cities but what goes on at the conventions," he said.

With Charlotte, they also might remember the weather: President Barack Obama was supposed to make his acceptance speech at the outdoor 74,000-seat Bank of America Stadium. Instead, it was moved indoors because of the threat of thunderstorms.

Still, people were happy the convention was held in Charlotte.

Janet Connors, a waitress at an Uptown restaurant, said business was strong.

"Tables were filled and we had a lot of people waiting for tables. And the tips were good. Everybody was in a good mood. It was real festive on the streets," said Connors, 24, of Charlotte.

On Friday, the city streets were unusually quiet. Workers had removed steel barricades that protected buildings. Convention-goers were either home or on their way.

Because of potential traffic issues, parking problems and protesters, many downtown businesses told workers that they could telecommute during the convention .

Congress gave the city $50 million for security and the city amassed 3,000 police officers from around North Carolina and other areas in addition to its force of 1,750.

But by late Friday, most of the police officers had disappeared from Uptown streets.

"It's a little easier to get around," Connors said.

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