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Businesses report a Comic-Con cleanup — as Gaslamp cleaning continues

As the wraps come off the buildings, and the streets and windows get a much-needed hosing down, Comic-Con is now officially over.

On Monday, workers from the Downtown San Diego Partnership Clean & Safe Program were finishing spot cleaning after the four-day pop-culture extravaganza.

"Right now, we're just making sure we got a little bit of graffiti, some detailed work that needs to be done through the city right now," said Alonso Vivas, executive director of the Clean & Safe Program.

Through the four-day event, he said, a staff of more than 100 workers picked up over 46,000 pounds of trash. That's twice the amount of a typical weekend. But, he added, people have been more conscientious about putting trash where it needs to go.

"Every year, we actually have less and less trash and fliers," Vivas said. "Obviously, there's still a lot of that to be cleaned up, but we're noticing that a lot of the trash ended up where it should be."

While the cleanup continues, businesses also cleaned up with Comic-Con. The economic numbers for Comic-Con won't be available for a little while, but the impact on the local economy is estimated to be over $165 million, with about $90 million in direct spending, according to the San Diego State Fowler College of Business.

This is the first full-scale Comic-Con in three years, and businesses say customer volume was down about 10-15% from 2019, but, overall, things were good.

"It was extremely successful for all the business owners," said Sara Arjmand, marketing director for Greystone Steakhouse in the Gaslamp. "It was definitely a boost in revenue. We definitely saw a boost of about 40% to 50% throughout the Gaslamp at different businesses.”

Comic-Con's impact extends beyond the downtown area, and businesses throughout San Diego benefited, she said.

More than 135,000 people visited the Convention Center this weekend. Bryan Pelich and his wife were among the attendees. They are visiting from Nashville, Tennessee.

"It was shocking about how many people were here, but overall I thought it was a great event," Pelich said. "I was going to a lot of the restaurants on Fifth as well as on 10th and all of that. So just kind of visiting around a lot of the restaurants."

This was their second time attending Comic-Con. Their first was in 2019. Pelich said he wanted to come back next year.

If they are any indication, next year's Comic-Con will be more of the same.