Raleigh, N.C. — This weekend the Raleigh Convention Center will play host to the Carolina Classics at the Capital car show. It is the latest in a long line of high-profile, high-draw events in the capital city that lead to tax savings for those who live here.
"There's so many people in Raleigh that have classic cars and this convention center is just a diamond in the rough for this car show," said organizer Greg Cox.
Thousands of car enthusiasts will make their way to the Triangle from up and down the East Coast to lay their eyes on hundreds of muscle cars, collectibles, street rods and show cars. "We've got people from Virginia Beach, from Charlotte. We've got people who have come from as far as Florida," Cox said.
This event has grown in size every year since it started four years ago. In all, 150,000 square feet of space will be available to exhibitors for the two-day show. This weekend, organizers expect as many as 15,000 people to buy tickets to the event.
The IronMan race in June attracted more than 3,100 visitors who spent more than $1 million.
The out-of-towners will stay in downtown hotels and eat at downtown restaurants, boosting tax coffers for the city and state. New numbers from the state show that Wake County brought in $1.8 billion from domestic travelers in 2012, second only to Mecklenburg County.
According to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wake County collected a record $17,288,952 in hotel occupancy tax in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Collections were up year-to-year of the food and beverage tax as well. Every dollar raised from tourists is one fewer spent by locals in property taxes for local infrastructure and services.
"Tourism is a key tenet of our economic development strategy for North Carolina, and it means jobs for our citizens – nearly 200,000 of them across North Carolina," said Gov. Pat McCrory.
Tickets to Carolina Classics at the Capital can be bought at the door. The show is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.