BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re days away from the biggest New Year’s bash in Baltimore and local businesses have reason to celebrate.

As Christie Ileto explains, the New Year’s Eve Spectacular means big bucks for many restaurants’ bottom lines.

Something’s cooking in Brio Tuscan Grille’s kitchen.

Martin Atkinson is the general manager at the restaurant’s Pratt Street location and like many other downtown businesses and restaurants, they, too, are gearing up for Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular.

“It’s been a fantastic year, and we’re ready to end it with a wonderful celebration with some music and fireworks here on New Year’s Eve,” said Atkinson.

“We have a lot going on. We have happy hour specials in the bar that we’re running that evening,” said Atkinson. “Walk across the harbor and hear the music and see the fireworks, but you should be able to see them right from the restaurant as well.”

The New Year’s bash has long been a tradition in Baltimore. It brings thousands to the Inner Harbor for live music, food and, always a crowd pleaser, a dazzling fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.

“New Year’s Eve definitely has an impact on Baltimore,” said Tracy Baskerville, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

The festivities don’t just draw crowds downtown. They also drive visitor spending at our local restaurants, shops and hotels.

“So you have people who are coming to parties. They’re coming downtown, whether you’re taking transportation, whether you’re parking,” said Baskerville.”So all of that counts toward the economic impact: spending money at restaurants, if you decide to stay overnight at a hotel.”

A 2010 economic impact study shows the single event generates nearly $7 million for the area, bringing nearly 50,000 to 100,000 people out.

“We think the fireworks, the show itself has that draw, so it really helps encourage people to come out even more so,” said Baskerville.

Atkinson said crowds who dine at Brio Tuscan will have a prime location steps from the harbor.

“It’s a great opportunity to come down and explore everything that the Inner Harbor is these days,” said Atkinson.

Make sure to tune in Dec. 31 for WJZ‘s special coverage of New Year’s Eve. We will bring you all the fireworks and festivities live from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor beginning at 11 p.m.


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