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Light City 2019 Expected to Bring 400K Guests, Big Bucks To Inner Harbor Businesses

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Light City 2019 is just four days away, and along with the beautiful light displays comes a nice bump to the Baltimore economy.

Businesses all around the Inner Harbor are expected to take advantage of the big-time event.

Among those will be the Spirit of Baltimore, which will offer special cruises to give visitors a unique vantage point of some of the art installations.

"So we're expecting upwards of 400,000 people to come spend money in the city and enjoy the festival," said Donna Drew Sawyer, the CEO of the city's Office of Promotion and the Arts.

Last year, officials estimate Light City brought in more than $33 million for the city's economy.

The Rusty Scupper, which sits on the Inner Harbor, said they can see a 30 to 40 percent uptick in dinner services during the event.

"Everyone looks forward to it, it's very artistic and it's just a lot of fun," said Ed Prutzer, the Rusty Scupper's general manager.

Just up the street at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, they're offering Light City packages, general manager Bob Haislip said.

"We love events like this that create a lot of energy for our city, and they fill hotel rooms," he said.

Throughout the ten-day festival, Spirit Cruises will be adding nightly Light City tours to their schedule.

"It's just a great way for people to see Baltimore from a different vantage point," said Chad Barth, the company's general manager. "The idea of it being during Light City, to see all the different light attractions that are going to be around here, is going to be something really awesome."

Adding to the awesomeness, this year, Light City is being held during a traditionally slow time of year for the Inner Harbor.

"This is going to bring a lot of foot traffic down here for sure for us," Barth said.

A number of downtown businesses will also offer Light City-themed specials and other promotions to capitalize on the event.

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