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feature continued

Trip Advisor Findings
(as of April 2018)
Downtown Venues:
Santander Arena
* 91% Very Good/Excellent
(4-5) Star Rating - Average of
4.5 Stars (117 Reviews)
Santander Performing
Arts Center
* 100% Very Good/Excellent -
Average of 4.5 Stars (10 Reviews)
GoggleWorks Center for
the Arts
* 97% Very Good/Excellent -
Average of 4.5 Stars
(136 Reviews)
Miller Center for the Arts
* 100% Excellent - Average of
5 Stars (8 Reviews)
Downtown Restaurants:

The two largest nonprofit arts and culture drivers in the Berks County findings are surely
Berks JazzFest and the Reading Symphony Orchestra, which perform primarily in downtown
Reading. These two organizations collectively make up a little more than 25 percent of the
total annual arts and culture spending figure in the county.
According to figures from the 2014 Visitor Perception Report prepared by Berks Arts
Council about Berks JazzFest (most recent numbers available), the economic impact of the
festival attracts more than 35,000 people, with 70 percent of visitors traveling from outside
the county for concerts and events. Because of the significant number of individuals who
travel two or more hours, the festival brings more than $5 million into the County between
lodging, dining, and other activities (retail, travel excursions, etc.). Berks JazzFest director
John Ernesto and Berks Arts Council Executive Director Karen Haver estimate that the total
impact is now closer to $6M annually.
According to David Gross, Executive Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra, the
Americans for the Arts' Arts & Economic Calculator determines that while the Reading
Symphony Orchestra's budget is $1.2 million its performances help generate an additional
$288,281 in spending by patrons going to restaurants on concert nights, parking fees,
concessions, etc. The calculator also concludes that the RSO's activities help to support 52
full time jobs that would include their own employees and providing work in the downtown
businesses including restaurant staff, parking lot attendants, stagehands, etc.

The Boost from Visitors Outside of Berks County

Ugly Oyster
* 85% Very Good/Excellent
(4-5) Star Rating - Average of
4.0 Stars (207 Reviews)
Judy's on Cherry
* 81% Very Good/Excellent
(4-5 Star) Rating - Average of
4.0 Stars (372 Reviews)
Cheers' American Bistro
(DoubleTree Reading Restaurant)
* 94% Very Good/Excellent
(4-5 Star) Rating - Average of
4.5 Stars (61 Reviews)
Peanut Bar
* 75% Very Good/Excellent
(4-5 Star) Rating - Average of
4.0 Stars (293 Reviews)

30 COMMERCE QUARTERLY

Arts and Culture in Downtown Reading

SPRING 2018

The Arts & Economic Prosperity Report also includes a breakdown of how spending
differs between resident attendees and nonresident attendees, defined as those traveling in
from outside Berks County for concerts and events. With the average resident spending
$21.31 per person and nonresidents spending $61.37, Berks receives almost three times
the revenue when nonresidents choose to spend their discretionary entertainment dollars in
Berks County.
Considering this significant return on investment, it makes sense to see the Berks
community devote more resources to increasing arts and culture events such as Berks Arts
Council's Reading Blues Fest, Downtown Alive Concert Series, and Reading Fire and Ice
Festival, all of which have the potential to draw from outside the county.

Can Our Downtown Venues Compete?
Consumer review sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp provide trusted and instant feedback to
individuals new to a venue or community. With such reviews typically showing up within
the first five sites on a basic Google search for a venue, interested concertgoers have instant
access to the perks and criticisms from others just like them.
Fortunately for downtown Reading, our venues are showered with positive comments and
assessed at above average or excellent ratings. Tie that into reviews for area restaurants and
bars, and planning a trip to Reading becomes a fun adventure for anyone new to the Reading
experience.



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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
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