An economic impact study conducted by the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business reveals that the Peace Center in Greenville has had an astounding economic impact of just over $1 billion for the state of South Carolina.
In 2023 alone, the Peace Center is expected to contribute $122.2 million to the local Greenville County economy. This represents the cumulative total of the Peace Center’s current annual impact of $80.6 million and an added impact of $41.6 million from the expansion project underway on the performing arts center’s 6-acre campus in downtown Greenville. Current expansion includes the addition of two new music venues, a recording and podcast studio, an artist dorm, expansion of meeting and event spaces, and urban design surrounding the Wyche.
By 2029, the expansion is projected to increase the Peace Center’s total cumulative economic impact to $1.5 billion in Greenville County and $1.7 billion statewide.
“The Peace Center was established to be a hub for the performing arts and to improve the quality of life in the region,” said Peace Center CEO Megan Riegel. “The results of this study help prove just how valuable the performing arts are to our community and state.”
Economic activity is generated both from the local expenditures the Peace Center invests in to produce and operate its facilities and additional spending activity that non-local patrons make with local businesses in the region while visiting for a Peace Center event. Economic multiplier effects are divided into direct, indirect and induced impacts. (Multipliers pulled from the input-output modeling software IMPLAN in conjunction with other customized regional forecasting models.)
Current Economic Impact
In 2019, the most recently completed pre-pandemic calendar year, the Peace Center generated approximately $34.5 million in direct, total revenue. The operations required to support this volume of business activity included 204 workers with an accompanying payroll of $5.5 million.
The Peace Center projects 2022 total revenue will approximate that of 2019 and that the average annual revenue between 2022 and 2029 will significantly exceed that of 2019, the study uses the 2019 levels of activity as a baseline to quantify the current total economic impact of all Peace Center operations.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects the Southeast will experience the highest rate of population growth among all regions over the next two decades. The population growth of both S.C. and Greenville County are expected to far exceed the national average with the county’s population, specifically, expected to grow by 12.5 percent between 2023 and 2030.
The 18-month construction phase of the expansion currently underway at the Peace Center is scheduled to begin this year and expenditures on design, construction and FF&E (furnishings, fixtures and equipment) are expected to generate sizable, temporary impacts for Greenville County and the state as a whole.
The forecasted economic impact on Greenville County ranges from $3.2 million in 2022 to $41.6 million in 2023. The statewide forecast ranges from $3.6 million in 2022 to $46.8 million in 2023. The cumulative total economic impact of the expansion is $55.8 million (County) and $63.9 million (S.C.)
When current expansions are complete in 2024, Peace Center officials anticipate the following projections:
• Approximately 850 events each year
• Average annual attendance: 450,000
• By 2029, the Peace Center expects to have hosted more than 10 million patrons.
The following are key contributing factors to the Peace Center’s impact on the economy.
• Hosted over 6 million patrons since opening in 1990.
• Nearly 13,000 performances and events
• Average # of events per year (2010-2020): approximately 660
• Average annual attendance (2010-2020): approximately 350,000.
Approximately 30 percent of the 371,283 people attending Peace Center events in 2019 lived outside of Greenville County. The local spending activity of non-local patrons represents approximately 18 percent of the Peace Center’s annual economic impact in Greenville County, or roughly $14.9 million each year.
The study also found that between 1991 and 2020 (before the six-month Covid-19 shutdown) the Peace Center’s annual economic growth rate (7.6 percent) was five times higher than that of Greenville County (1.4 percent) and nearly eight times higher than the entire upstate region (one percent).
About the Peace Center
The Peace Center is a world-class performing arts center located in the heart of downtown Greenville, S.C. Established in 1990, the six-acre campus currently consists of the 2,115-seat Peace Concert Hall, 400-seat Gunter Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater, and popular event spaces including the iconic Wyche building and the Huguenot Mill.
Year-round performances include the best of Broadway, legendary comedians, musicians, dancers, poets, filmmakers, orchestras, intellectuals, and more. The Peace Center also fulfills its mission of building community and creating connections through Artists-in-Residence programs; community celebrations like Juneteenth; partnerships with community organizations; and serving as a central gathering place for all.
A major multi-year, multi-phased expansion to the Peace Center campus was announced in fall 2022. Current expansion includes construction of two new music venues: Coach Music Factory and The Mockingbird; an artist dorm; a podcast and recording studio; and Wyche urban design. The currently planned expansions are projected to increase the Peace Center’s total cumulative economic impact to $1.5 billion in Greenville County and $1.7 billion statewide by 2029.
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