Tivoli Theatre Foundation Shows $43.6 Million Local Economic Impact

Renovations To Add Fourth Venue With Completion Target In 2024

  • Friday, January 27, 2023

The Tivoli Theatre Foundation unveiled a newly completed economic impact report that demonstrates the significant impact the organization has on the Chattanooga and Hamilton County economy.

“Our vision is to always be creative,” said Nick Wilkinson, CEO of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation. “For more than 100 years, the Tivoli has been the centerpiece for arts and culture in our community. The Tivoli Theatre, along with the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium and the Walker Theatre, are top tier economic and cultural generators.”

This newly released report, prepared by Dr. Rachel J.C. Fu, chair and professor of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management at the University of Florida, shows the strength of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation venues. The study also projects the impact when renovations are completed at the Tivoli Theatre in 2024 and following the opening of a new performing arts center with classic and artistic cinema and year-round performing arts education.

2022 Significant Impact
In 2022, there were over 155,000 tickets sold for more than 220 shows in the three venues. Even with the Tivoli Theatre closed for half of the year, attendance reflects the positive impact of the diverse schedule of events. Attendees came from all 50 states, as well as Canada and Mexico.

These numbers show the strength of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation as a driver of the local economy coming out of the pandemic, thanks to diverse programming at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium, the Walker Theatre, and limited use of the Tivoli Theatre before construction began, said officials. 

$43.6 million - Visitors provided $25.3 million in direct expenditures. Their activities and events generate another $11 million in indirect and $7.3 million from induced sales.
404 fulltime equivalent jobs contributed by the Tivoli Theatre Foundation.
$24.1 million in added value for Hamilton County from total sales
$2.2 million - Tivoli Theatre Foundation visitors contributed $2.2 million in state and local taxes.
2025 Forecasted Impact

With the completion of the renovations at the Tivoli Theatre and the opening of the new Tivoli Performing Arts Center, these are the expected economic impacts in 2025.

$81.8 million - Visitors to the Tivoli Theatre Foundation’s four venues are estimated to provide $47.4 million in direct expenditures that impact the Hamilton County economy. Their activities and events will generate an additional $20.6 million in indirect and $13.7 million in induced sales.
759 fulltime equivalent jobs contributed by the Tivoli Theatre Foundation from all visitors
$45.3 million in total added value for Hamilton County from all sales
$4.1 million - The Tivoli Theatre Foundation visitors contribution of $4.1 state and local taxes.

The creation of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation in 2015 renewed and revitalized the three historic venues and their impact on the community.  “As we enter our second century, our vision is only limited by the ability to be imaginative when bringing the performing arts to life,” Mr. Wilkinson said.

The Tivoli Performing Arts Center, located in the former Fowler Brothers building, will include ground floor retail, a rooftop bar, the new Bobby Stone Theatre, and educational programming for students and teachers. “The new center and restored Tivoli Theatre will be the lynchpin piece in bringing the Riverfront and the Southside together in the city center,” he said.

The Tivoli Theatre Foundation was created in 2015 “to renovate and reimagine” these historic venues while retaining relationships with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the Chattanooga Ballet, the Chattanooga Boys Choir, and other non-profit organizations. The Tivoli Theatre opened March 19, 1921. It was designed by Rapp and Rapp and R.H. Hunt, who also designed the Memorial Auditorium that opened in 1922.

A link to the recently released report can be found here.

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