Those Crazy Waterfalls Actually Generated a $69 Million Economic Impact

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Photo: Getty Images

Remember when Mayor Bloomberg estimated that Olafur Eliasson's "Waterfalls" sculptures would generate $55 million in economic impact? Well, according to the mayor's estimate, it was more like $69 million. The figures, from the Times:

• $15.5 million in direct spending on the exhibition’s total presentation, including building materials, construction, operation, disassembly and promotional and educational materials.

• An estimated $26.3 million in incremental spending by the 1.4 million visitors to the show.

• An estimated $26.8 million in “indirect spending from these expenditures.”


Okay, so when they said "economic impact," they didn't mean straight tourism dollars (of which Christo's Gates raked in $254 million). But it's still more money than you might expect from a quasi-poisonous series of art installations that mostly just made you go, "Oh yeah, the waterfalls," when you happened to pass by a spot where you could see them.

City Puts 'Waterfalls' Impact at $69 Million [NYT]
Related: How Olafur Eliasson Brought the Waterfalls to New York City [NYM]