The “Columbus” movie filmed in the city last summer provided an immediate shot in the arm for the local hospitality industry, with an estimated $132,000 economic impact from the three weeks that about 40 cast and crew members spent while on the set in Columbus.
When the movie debuted Jan. 22 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, local tourism officials saw an opportunity to further market Columbus as a good place to make films at a modest cost.
With Columbus’ large inventory of modern architecture as impressive backdrops for movie scenes, and the ability to work in an area that doesn’t break the budget on associated costs, such as food and lodging, it’s a formula that could be repeated by other filmmakers with different story lines.
With a modest investment of their own ($7,000 to fund a trip to Utah and to throw a “Columbus” cast party), Columbus Area Visitors Center officials funded a new type of marketing that could have a future payoff. Not that different from traditional tourism marketing, money is spent to bring visitors to the county.
This lovely film is a living testimonial that design matters and this community gets it. When the film is released nationally, it’ll mean even more attention on Columbus. People from around the world may feel compelled to visit our city after seeing “Columbus.”
The exposure the movie gives this city cannot be fully measured, but hundreds of thousands of people could be introduced to the beautiful city that is Columbus.
More exposure also means more opportunities to generate more visitors and revenue. Generating revenue — in any industry — requires investment, and this one by the Columbus Area Visitors Center seems like a sound one.