Economic Revitalization

Tracking downtown revitalization

Since the onset of COVID-19, DSA has been tracking the impact on our local economy. As downtown bounces back, we continue to follow dozens of metrics to trace the path to full economic recovery. A few of these metrics are below.

Downtown Revitalization Dashboard

February 2024 (January data)

Downtown Seattle was the first American urban center to experience the impacts of COVID-19, enduring a sudden economic downturn. As downtown continues to evolve, DSA will publish a monthly Revitalization Dashboard examining key metrics. The data sets provide a comparison point to the same time period in 2019. Additionally, the dashboard will feature notable stories that provide context regarding downtown’s renewal and reemergence.

Please credit the Downtown Seattle Association Revitalization Dashboard for use of charts, data and images on this page.

View the PDF

Visitors
Total monthly visitors since 2019

More than 1.7 million visitors came downtown in January 2024, representing a decrease of 11% from the previous year. (Note: There were no home Seahawk games this month compared to two in January 2023.) The total number of January visitors was about 82% of the number seen in January 2019.

Source: Placer.ai
Return to Office
Average daily worker foot traffic (Monday–Friday)

In January, downtown averaged more than 80,000 daily workers — a 13% increase from January 2023. Worker foot traffic in January 2024 was at 51%, marking nine consecutive months in which foot traffic has been over 50% compared to the same period in 2019.

Source: Placer.ai. Note: The November 2023 daily average excludes Nov. 22–24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hotel Room Demand
Monthly hotel rooms sold compared to 2019

Downtown hotels saw a nearly 6% increase year-over-year in rooms sold, or nearly 231,000 room nights. This represented 81% of demand in January 2019.

Sources: Visit Seattle, STR
Occupied Apartment Units

In January, the number of occupied apartment units was more than 56,600. Note: Previous 2023 quarterly counts were revised slightly downward, but overall downtown continues to remain at a post-pandemic high for apartment units.

Source: CoStar

Of Note in Downtown

Workers

8200increase in daily workers

The average daily number of downtown workers in January 2024 was 8,200 more people per day than in December 2023.

White line icon: downtown ambassador cleaning up trash

100000gallons of trash collected

The DSA/MID Clean Team collected 100,617 gallons of trash from downtown sidewalks, curb lines and alleys in January 2024. That’s 9,000 gallons more than in January 2023.

White line icon: potted plant

55000attendees expected

Estimated number of attendees for the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Festival at the Seattle Convention Center. The festival runs from Feb. 14-18.

Coming Up in Downtown

 

DSA/MID is hosting a celebration of Black Excellence Feb. 16–17 in Occidental Square. In honor of Black History Month, BE Great will bring together Black arts, music, food and more. Immerse yourself in Black culture and community with local musicians and a pop-up market at this free two-day event.

garden show
Credit: Marketplace Events

The Seattle Home & Garden Show will bring thousands of attendees to the Lumen Field Event Center from Feb. 22–25. The largest consumer home show in the region will feature hundreds of exhibits and special seminars.

Emerald City Comic Con - Credit: Kevin Clark / The Seattle Times
Credit: Kevin Clark / The Seattle Times

Emerald City Comic Con is expected to welcome 75,000 colorful enthusiasts to downtown Feb. 29–March 3 at the Seattle Convention Center. The premier comic book and pop culture convention in the Pacific Northwest features actors, anime voice artists, exhibits, competitions and more.

COVID-19 Downtown Recovery Weekly Snapshot

These charts show weekly statistics from March 2020 through the most recent week available. To indicate the level of recovery, data is displayed as a percent of the same metric for the comparable week of 2019.

Notes on Sources

Downtown foot traffic data are provided by Placer.ai and are based on cell phone location data. Each person is counted once per day. International visitors are not included. Subsets of this data in the charts are as follows:

  • Office worker presence is estimated based on visits by workers who were present between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays in the downtown neighborhoods with the heaviest concentration of office space.*
  • Total visitors includes those who do not live or work downtown. It does not include international visitors.
  • Hotel data are based on monthly reports from STR, provided by Visit Seattle.
  • Apartment occupancy data are from CoStar. This is reported quarterly but the current quarter data are updated in real-time as new information is added to the database.
  • Domestic visitors counts those who do not live or work downtown.
  • Total foot traffic includes all visits to downtown by domestic visitors, residents and workers.
  • Pike Place Market visitors includes domestic visitors who do not live or work at the Pike Place Market.

*Note that workers who have not visited their work site in the past 90 days are classified as “visitors” until they are regularly visiting their work site at least three times in a one-week period.