Economic Impact Study Shows Tanglewood’s Contributions to the Berkshires
While Tanglewood has long been a player in the economic and cultural growth of the Berkshire region, a recent study has documented these impacts and the projected effects of the new construction projects.
Tanglewood’s performance and operations activities have more than a $103 million impact on the economic activity in the state of Massachusetts according to a new third-party study by Stephen Sheppard, Professor of Economics at Williams College. This number represents an increase of approximately $40 million when compared to the previous economic impact study in 2008. Professor Sheppard accredits the 70% increase in the economic impact of Tanglewood to several factors, including: an increase in the festival’s overall attendance; an increase in the amount people spend per visit; an increase in the length of time people stay in the area per visit; and a growing perception of Massachusetts in general, and Berkshire County in particular, as a vibrant tourist destination.
Each summer, more than 350,000 people attend Tanglewood concerts. Most of these attendees come from outside of Berkshire County and almost half of them (49%) come from out of state. Visitor expenditures generate more than $43 million in economic activity for Berkshire County along with at least $15 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
The presence of Tanglewood also affects the property and housing markets of Berkshire County. Second homeowners attracted to the region primarily by Tanglewood pay more than $13 million per annum in residential property taxes to communities in Berkshire County, an important source of revenue for local governments. According to a report by Airbnb, Berkshire homeowners earned nearly $2 million this summer by renting to Tanglewood performers, staffers, and concertgoers.
The construction of new TMC/TLI buildings is expected to raise the economic activity impact of Tanglewood to $127 million and create several hundred jobs and $3 million in tax revenues during the construction period. 72% of the subcontracts for this project were awarded to firms in Western Massachusetts and 61% to firms in Berkshire county alone.
Upon publication of this economic impact report, BSO Eunice and Julian Cohen Managing Director Mark Volpe said, “It is deeply gratifying to all of us at the Boston Symphony Orchestra that our investment in the future of Tanglewood—with the construction of a new four-building complex for the Tanglewood Music Center and the new Tanglewood Learning Institute—will make such a significantly increased contribution to the surrounding area. We believe this great news underscores the ideal relationship between a festival and its surroundings— where Tanglewood thrives so abundantly in large part due to its setting in the beautiful Berkshire hills, while at the same time strengthening and enhancing the community it is so privileged to know and serve.”
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