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Local News

November 18, 2013

Halloween treats Salem to $221,000

SALEM — The city of Salem made money this Halloween.

When all the revelers had departed and the streets were swept clean, the city wound up with a profit of $221,000.

That was slightly below the average net Halloween revenue of more than $224,500 since 2007.

“While Haunted Happenings is not intended to be a revenue-raising program for the city, we’re still pleased that we were on track with our historic average,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement.

“The most critical thing, as far as the city is concerned, is maintaining public safety and security during the month and especially on Halloween itself. Our police and public safety partners from 12 different police departments did a fantastic job ensuring everyone was able to enjoy this year’s Halloween festivities in a safe fashion.”

Visitor spending at restaurants and businesses was estimated at $30 million for the month, according to a city press release.

Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, said it will be a few weeks before the meals tax totals are announced, a good barometer of how successful the Halloween season was for local businesses. From what he has heard, Oosthoek expects results to be strong.

“We had a good Halloween,” he said. “We had four great weekends,” which, from all indications, were better than last year.

As in past years, the biggest revenue producers for the city were the parking garages, which generated almost $224,000.

When combined with parking lot fees and meters, parking accounted for more than $280,000 of the city’s total October gross revenues of $426,677.

The city-owned Witch House, a popular tourist attraction, earned almost $68,000.

Pioneer Village revenues, by contrast, were only $15,500.

The Fiesta Shows carnival and its vendors paid the city more than $50,000.

The biggest bill, as expected, came from public safety, with police expenses exceeding $120,000.

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