1.) It’s been a heck of a summer for Philadelphia hospitality. News broke a couple of days ago that the industry had broken the $500 million mark for the summer – a huge number. Contributing to the fantastic summer of hospitality: the Democratic National Convention, numerous conventions, and several large sporting events. The jump is present in hotel revenue and occupancy, increased foot traffic at restaurants, convention halls, and arts/cultural institutions. The DNC was obviously the big event, with the Philadelphia Business Journal reporting occupancy at 97.6%. During that week, there was a $16.3 million difference in hotel revenues over the same time period last year. Other conventions and events that brought in traffic included the African Methodist Episcopal Church Bicentennial and The American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
2.) Big news for oenophiles: seventeen Philadelphia stores and restaurants got the go-ahead to start selling wine and beer. This week, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved up to 84 expanded licenses to sell wine and beer, a local NBC affiliate reported, and on August 8th a bill went into effect that allowed for greater wine and beer sales in licensed restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and other establishments. Wine permits are granted only when an applicant is certified through the Responsible Alcohol Management Program, said NBC.
3.) Hillary Clinton was back in Philadelphia for the first time since the Democratic National Convention on Monday. Clinton appeared with vice-president Joe Biden following another stop in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She appeared at the gymnasium at West Philadelphia High School at a Voter Registration Event designed to encourage locals to get out and register to vote in advance of the upcoming presidential election. Mayor Jim Kenney introduced Clinton and made a series of powerful remarks on the history of black voter suppression and the toils that black voters have had to go through to have their voices heard. Then Clinton took the stage, and the energy in the room was apparently “palpable,” with the crowd calling her name and booing her opponent, Donald Trump, when his name was mentioned.