Lion King currently playing on tour in Minneapolis, MN (till Apr. 28) and moves to Dayton, OH (from May. 01)

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King expected to generate more than $15M in Dayton

The Lion King is expected to have a local economic impact of more than $15 million during its four-week run that begins on Monday, June 14 at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, according to Dayton-area arts officials. Restaurants, parking lots, hotels expect to enjoy brisk business during Lion King musical’s run.

The Victoria Theatre Association last week had sold more than $5 million in tickets for “The Lion King’s” 32 performances, said Ken Neufeld, president and chief executive.

About 9,000 Lion King Schuster Center tickets were still available from a total of 72,000, Neufeld said. He expected to sell more than 70,000 tickets by the end of the show’s run on July 10.

On average, Broadway tours generate an economic impact of 3.5 times the gross ticket sales to a local metropolitan area’s economy, according to The Broadway League, a national trade association.

“The Lion King” will bring 2,200 people downtown for each of eight shows per week. Restaurants, bars, hotels and parking facilities are among the top beneficiaries, Neufeld said.

Uno’s Chicago Grill on North Main Street expects its best four weeks in several years because of theater crowds, said Joe Kiley, general manager. “From last week to this week, we will double in sales for ‘Lion King,’ ” Kiley said.

Citilites Restaurant & Bar at the Schuster Center anticipates full dining rooms before all performances, including matinees, said John Miller, director of food and beverage services.

Jay’s Seafood Restaurant in the Oregon Arts District saw its business spike in June 2010 as result of “The Phantom of the Opera,” which did $2.3 million in local ticket sales, said Amy Haverstick, owner and general manager.

“My weekday business is definitely increased because of the shows,” Haverstick said.

“Lion King” patrons will fill two theater-district lots operated by Parking Management Inc. for all shows, said Paul Hutchins, the company’s owner.

The production will bring more than 100 people to Dayton, including actors, crew and management. They will stay in area hotels for four to five weeks, resulting in nearly 3,500 hotel room nights occupied, Neufeld said.

Hotels also will benefit from tourists in town to see “The Lion King.” Neufeld said 10 percent of audience from “Wicked” came from outside the eight-county area surrounding Dayton.

“The Lion King” will employ 34 local union stagehands and eight musicians for each of 32 performances and one dress rehearsal. About 100 stagehands are employed to load the production both in and out of the theater.

“That money all stays in the community and gets spent where we are,” Neufeld said.

During their off hours, the touring cast and crew frequent area restaurants, movie theaters, and grocery and retail stores, further fueling the economy.


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