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Introducing Replica’s Patterns App: A New Tool for Measuring Economic Impact

With this new feature, Replica can help customers quantify the increase in visits associated with certain events, initiatives, and policy choices.

January 17, 2024
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By now, we’ve all been bombarded with stories about Taylor Swift’s impact on local spending and traffic patterns (All too well, if you ask us here at Replica). It’s apparent what a catalyst special events can be for local economies. 

And it’s relatively easy to measure how many people attend a concert, or a farmer’s market, or a football game. But it’s comparatively much harder to measure the spillover effect these types of events have on the surrounding neighborhoods.

While this information may be harder to come by, it’s vital information for cities and counties as they think about planning events and placing stadiums in such a way that support local businesses, increase tax revenue, and catalyze inclusive economic growth.

That’s why Replica is launching the Patterns App. With this new tool, customers can quantify the relative uptick (or drop off) in popularity in custom-defined locations, at a specific day and time. 

For instance, customers can compare the relative popularity of Open Streets events on sunny days vs. rainy days, or compare how a Memorial Day Parade impacted the popularity of restaurants and shopping on Main Street.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting what we think are some of the most impactful new use cases that this unlocks for our customers. If you’re interested in applying this tool to your work, or have a related use case you want to try, reach out by contacting sales@replicahq.com.

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In this post, we are exploring how to use the tool to better understand how regularly scheduled events in local municipalities can positively drive economic impact in the surrounding neighborhood.

We’re highlighting two types of events, in different locations across the country: (1) The Flea Market in Alameda, California; and (2) Orioles games at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.

Alameda Island, California

  • The Alameda Point Antiques Faire is the largest such show in Northern California. The first Sunday of each month, thousands of patrons and nearly a thousand vendors make their way to the retired Naval Air Station on the west end of Alameda Island. The event clearly brings a huge amount of people to the Faire itself, but we wanted to explore how much the event catalyzes economic activity on the rest of Alameda Island – an area about four times larger.

    With Replica, we can quantify this uplift. We looked at 2023 to compare the relative number of visits on Faire days vs. all other Sundays, across the Faire Grounds, the entire remainder of Alameda, and just the downtown business district on the eastern side of the island.

    The data demonstrates the benefit of the Antique Faire on the economy of the remainder of the island, especially in summer. 

    As the data shows, on the grounds themselves, we see a much bigger uptick in visits on Faire Sundays in winter as compared to summer, which makes sense as fewer people are visiting the large outdoor area for other recreational activities in the cold. But in the downtown core, during the summer, there is a much bigger uptick — 5.1% — on Faire Sundays as compared to other Sundays. Especially in warm weather, the spillover in economic activity is significant.

    This is powerful data for cities to have for many reasons, including to quantify the return on investment of holding these types of events in their own jurisdictions.
Relative in visits compared to non-event Sunday

  • Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles play at Oriole Park Camden Yards, in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor. We used the Activation Index to understand how Orioles home games impact the activation of the Inner Harbor shopping + restaurant corridor. We compared the relative number of visits to Inner Harbor on summer Tuesday and Wednesday nights when the Orioles were home versus on nights when there wasn’t a game.

    When looking at the surrounding neighborhood (excluding Camden Yards itself), we see a 27% increase in visits to the Inner Harbor on game Tuesdays and Wednesdays, compared to non-game Tuesdays and Wednesdays during June, July, and August. Combining this insight with Replica’s consumer spend data, we can estimate that these games generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra spending each game night, in just one square mile.
Downtown Baltimore

27% increase in visits to the Inner Harbor
on game weekdays, compared to non-game weekdays during June, July, and August 2023.
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