Seattle Magazine: Foot traffic rises again in downtown Seattle

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Source: Seattle Magazine

This story was originally published in Seattle Magazine on March 25, 2024.

Downtown Seattle foot traffic rose 2% in February from the same month in 2023 as the city increasingly recovers from the pandemic.

Nearly 1.9 million visitors came downtown last month. Downtown averaged 85,000 daily workers, a 16% increase from February 2023. That, however, is only 57% compared to the same period in 2020, right before the pandemic.

Downtown hotels are experiencing the same uptick, booking 20% more rooms (250,000 room nights) from a year ago, with demand at 83% of pre-pandemic levels. The Downtown Seattle Association credits several recent events for the increase, most notably the 2024 Emerald City Comic Con.

Visit Seattle estimates the 85,000 Comic Con visitors generated more than $26 million in economic impact. Upcoming events include the Mariners’ four-game homestand beginning Thursday against the Boston Red Sox to kick off the 2024 MLB season, and Sakura-Con, the Northwest’s longest-running anime convention that begins March 29. More than 25,000 people are expected during the three-day event.

Violent crime also fell 14% from a year ago.

Visit Seattle, the region’s tourist marketing organization, will release preliminary visitor figures for 2023 during its annual meeting on Wednesday.