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July 4th Fireworks Bring $10.6 Million To San Diego, Report Says

The annual July 4 fireworks show above San Diego Bay generates $10.6 million for San Diego's economy, according to a report released today.

4th of July Fireworks light up the sky over San Diego Bay.
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Above: 4th of July Fireworks light up the sky over San Diego Bay.

The study by Point Loma Nazarene University's Fermanian Business & Economic Institute found the "Big Bay Boom'' prompts $6 million in direct spending at area hotels, restaurants and shops, with a multiplier effect of around $4.2 million trickling through the economy, plus $370,000 in media exposure.

Randy Ataide, director of the institute, said the research team collected data from waterfront businesses, hotels and restaurants.

Lynn Reaser, a PLNU professor, said the Big Bay Boom is both significant and timely.

"Before the Big Bay Boom, many hotels and restaurants, for instance, had comparatively very low occupancy on July 4th, particularly since there is typically little convention or business activity during the holiday,'' she said. "Other businesses would close for the day without the special fireworks event. This event serves to fill a regional economic void in the middle of summer.''

The study found that hotel business improve 30 percent because of the show, which was started in 2001, while operators of boat charters and rentals see six-fold gains. The bump in sales generally lasts about two to three days.

The Big Bay Boom received untold amounts of exposure this summer when a computer software glitch caused the fireworks to go off at once in a gargantuan, but brief, orgy of explosions. Video of the pyrotechnics was displayed all over the world on traditional news outlets and the Internet.

The show's executive producer, Sandy Purdon, said the foul-up makes him more determined to put on a special show in 2013. Garden State Fireworks officials are also helping to beef up next year's edition.

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