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Visitor spending up in most areas, but not New Hanover County

READ MORE: Visitor spending up in most areas, but not New Hanover County
Visitors in the Tar Heel state spent almost $17 billion last year. The Governor's Office today released the visitor spending numbers from 2008 and they reflect some positive economic news for most of North Carolina. The Satin family enjoyed their ice cream cones along the riverfront Wednesday afternoon, a sweet part of their vacation from Connecticut. While they're helping to pump dollars into North Carolina’s economy, they're doing so carefully. "We got a house on the beach with kind of a bigger group to help split the cost a little bit,” Joel Satin said. "We drove down this year instead of flying." Visitor spending increased in 62 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in 2008. Spending in Bladen County was up 5.4 percent, Brunswick County 0.2 percent, Columbus County 4.6 percent, and Pender County saw a 2.5 percent increase. New Hanover was the only local county to see a decrease, with spending down 0.8 percent. "When you consider that we're comparing to 2007, a year when spending was up almost ten percent, plus the fact that the recession kind of settled in during late 2008, being down less than one percent isn't really as bad as it could have been,” said Connie Nelson of the Cape Fear Visitors Bureau. Especially since people still are visiting the area, even if it is with a watchful eye. As for spending in 2009, Connie Nelson says it's down almost nine percent in New Hanover County through June. She hopes that will turn around as the economy starts to pick up and since the new film incentives bill was passed.

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Wasn't the local hotel tax

Wasn't the local hotel tax here supposed to fund the new Convention Center? Time the news media reports to us locals how and where the funding is flowing from for this project.

Check the city's budget

Why do you need the news media to give you only the information they want you to have when you can get it straight from the source - go to the city's website and look at their budget. It's under "Other Funds."

Visitor spending

From my ocean-side chair, I have watched with interest all summer as visitors dragged their large coolers and bags of food from home (grocery stores) onto the beach. Day trippers make up a large portion of the visitors on the beach. Even those that are staying at local condos/hotels/houses are eating in. I know because I have talked to many folks on the beach over the summer and they have confirmed this. While they are welcomed here, this is adding nothing to the local economy.