GREENSBORO, N.C. — More than 500 events have been cancelled or postponed, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue.
That’s just one part of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the Piedmont Triad.
It started back in March when the ACC tournament was cancelled after just two days of play.
People were optimistic back then that things would get back to normal soon. But after four months, the impact remains very real.
“$120 million worth of business lost in this community alone,” explained Henri Fourrier, the president of the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That’s just since March. Fourrier said things aren’t looking good.
“Our revenue stream was down 85% in April. And in May, it was down about 70%,” he added. “We’re feeling a pretty substantial impact.”
In 2018, $1.4 billion flooded into Guilford County’s economy.
This year, Fourrier said it won’t come close to that.
“Greensboro is more populated by events and meetings. So since we’re not able to have those, people aren’t coming,” he explained.
With the ACC Tournament canceled, the North Carolina Folk Festival headed online, the Wyndham being held without spectators and about 100 now postponed events at the Tanger Performing Arts Center, it’s becomming an issue.
“It really has a deep penetrating effect on a community when we are down,” Fourrier said.
The trickle down effect is what he’s concerned about.
“Think about when you go on a trip. You stay in a hotel. So then think about all of the help in the hotel,” Fourrier said. “And then the businesses that service those businesses…the linen supply, food supply. It goes on and on.”
He doesn’t know what the solution is or when things will improve.
“The problem is there’s no end date,” he said. “I don’t want to think of those terms. I try not to think of those terms.”
But Fourrier remains hopeful.
“I think we’ll pull this together and sustain ourselves and work togetehr to make ends meet,” he said. “We’ll work together to ride this out.”
This isn’t just a Greensboro problem.
In 2018, tourism all across North Carolina brought in more than $25 billion.
With people not traveling like they used to, everyone is feeling the same impact.
Fourrier told FOX8 all anyone can do is wait and see what happens next.