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Millions Come Downtown for 2023 Holiday Season, a Boost for Local Economy Heading into 2024

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With more than 2 million visitors during the 2023 holidays, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership shares data on the remarkable season of celebration.

2.2M

visitors during the holiday season

95K

average daily visitors

20

new retail and businesses opened in 2023

This holiday season welcomed the region into the Golden Triangle, with 2.2 million visitors coming into the Golden Triangle for holiday festivities, shopping, dining and more. Downtown experienced a remarkable season of celebrations, with both local tourism visitors at post-pandemic levels.

- Downtown saw a daily average of almost 95,000 people (residents, employees, visitors), making December one of the busiest months since 2019, with 10% more visitors than December ‘22.  

- Market Square attracted a daily average of 14,000 visitors throughout the season (458,000 for the season), with the busiest day experiencing more than 50,000 attendees! Market Square surpassed 2022 holiday foot traffic by 29% and exceeded 2017, 2018, and 2019 numbers by 9%, 6% and 6%, respectively. 

- The Cultural District saw almost 600,000 visitors, bringing it back to pre-pandemic numbers while the addition of a new tree in Point State Park brought visitor numbers 20% higher than 2019.   

Downtown is a world-class destination for entertainment, art, dining and shopping, and the Cultural District is the hub of these activities. In December, over 7,000 patrons attended the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s return production of A Christmas Story: The Play, including many first-time visitors, according to The Public’s Managing Director Shaunda McDill. “Bringing new and returning families together to enjoy the outstanding cast of artists assembled for this new holiday tradition was a true joy for us here at The Public and throughout the city,” added McDill. 

The robust influx of holiday activity also provided a welcome boost to Downtown’s nearly 400 restaurants and retailers, which reported a busy season, ending a strong 2023 year. Multiple businesses ended 2023 with their most successful year ever while 20 new retail and service businesses were welcomed into the Golden Triangle last year, underscoring continued optimism, interest, and investment in the heart of the region. 

“Special events and attractions like the Holiday Market, Black Market and the ice-skating rink at PPG Place provide a nice boost to my business each year,” said Adele Morelli, owner of Boutique La Passerelle on Wood St. “The increased foot traffic past the boutique really helps bring in new customers and raise awareness of our incredible community of small businesses right here in Downtown.” 

“This holiday season was our best ever, and December was our busiest month in our 11 years of business in Downtown,” said Brent Kightlinger, General Manager of Redbeard’s Bar & Grill on Sixth St. “Outside of our usual sports crowds, we had people stopping by who were visiting the pop-up bars, seeing shows, and shopping at the Holiday Market. We hope that this trend continues into the spring, summer, and into next year’s holiday season.”

 

About the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is a dynamic, nonprofit organization comprised of business and community leaders, property owners, civic organizations, foundations and residents who provide energy, vision and advocacy for Downtown Pittsburgh. Working collaboratively with its partners, the PDP strives to create a positive Downtown experience for residents, workers and visitors alike. The PDP’s strategic initiatives include clean and safe services, transportation, and economic development and advocacy. For more information, visit www.DowntownPittsburgh.com, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/downtownpitt and “like” us on Facebook.

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