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The Gallo Center: Changing Our Downtown for the Good. 

By Lynn Dickerson CEO, Gallo Center for the Arts.

The Gallo Center has changed our town. Since opening its doors a little more than 7 years ago, about 1,000,000 people have come to downtown Modesto to see a show or attend an event at the Gallo Center. Our research tells us about 60% of those guests also have a meal or a glass of wine or spend money some way in downtown while they are here. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

I often say, not only is the Gallo Center a cultural and entertainment hub for our entire region, it’s also an economic engine. Imagine how much more brutal the recent great recession would have been had the Center not opened when it did!

As the Gallo Center has grown in popularity and its programming has diversified, patrons have started coming from far and wide to attend a show. On a regular basis, the Gallo Center welcomes guests from Fresno, Sacramento, the East Bay, the Foothills, Merced County and points even further away. Those out of town guests are good for all of us. They fill up their gas tanks as well as their bellies while in town. Many spend the night in our hotels and motels.

An economic impact study conducted last year indicated that people attending shows and events at the Gallo Center accounted for approximately $5.6 million in the 2012 calendar year expenditures downtown or in the Modesto metro area (not including the cost of tickets). Of that, approximately $2.5 million was spent on food and beverages.

Patrons often tell me they no longer travel to San Francisco or Sacramento for shows because there are so many good choices at the Gallo Center. Instead of driving two hours, paying big bucks for parking and dining and then driving home with toothpicks keeping their eyes propped open, they are now choosing to spend their entertainment dollars locally. They are able to see world class entertainment in a variety of genres, park for free or practically free, enjoy a delicious meal at one of our local restaurants and be home in a jiff after the show ends. Talk about a win/win!

I am so proud of the impact the Gallo Center is having in our community. We are bringing joy to lives and improving our local economy. To borrow a line from Wicked…” We have changed our town for the good!

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