Local officials are delighted with Atlanta's performance during the Democratic National Convention, with one estimating the city got $1 billion worth of worldwide exposure, most of it positive.
"People now know that Atlanta is not Mayberry, and it's not moonlight and magnolias. That was our major, major message," one official said.George Berry, commissioner of the state Department of Industry and Trade, said Gov. Joe Frank Harris plans a business-hunting trip to Australia this fall, "and we will not have to explain to anybody we meet with where Atlanta is, and that's the big benefit of the convention as far as we were concerned."
"The awareness of Atlanta and Georgia is at an all-time high throughout the world and that will translate to investment decisions in future months," Berry said.
City and business officials, always concerned about Atlanta's image, were relieved and excited at the way the city was portrayed during the convention. They were helped by a show of Democratic unity and by the lack of serious trouble from demonstrators.
Barry King, spokesman for the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, said, "It was great, it was fantastic exposure: a little bit of the good, a little bit of the not-so-good.
"Nobody really zinged us badly," King said. "The city performed fantastically. Hospitality was truly gracious in all respects. Police and security people were outstanding. They looked good. The demonstrators got their point across.
Pre-convention studies had estimated that the four-day affair could bring between $58 million and $64 million into the city, which spent $15 million to stage it.
Ms. Dwozan estimated the direct economic impact was about what had been predicted, "but the economic impact was secondary." She said Atlanta wanted the convention "for the media awareness."