Economic impact of Edwards trial

Locker Room passes along this N&O article speculating on the John Edwards trial is having on Greensboro’s economy:

It’s a big week for spectacle in this Piedmont town: the Greensboro Youth Council’s annual carnival is set up in the coliseum parking lot, and a few miles away, there’s a minor media circus around the federal courthouse where former Sen. John Edwards is on trial.

Only one has an actual roller coaster, but both have their ups and downs.

“Overall, I think it’s been a very good thing. Certainly for the local economy, it’s been very good,” said Ed Wolverton, president and CEO of downtown Greensboro Inc., an economic development group.

The N&R wrote up the media circus last week. Everybody’s gotta eat lunch, which is good for downtown, but otherwise —according to CNN reporter Bob Woodruff— it doesn’t sound like they have much time to get out and about:

“I’ve been to two restaurants and went down to the Green Bean (coffee house). Great stuff. But that’s about the only time I’ve gotten away,” Woodruff said. “You get out of court, have a meal, write a piece for ‘World News,’ write a piece for ‘Good Morning America’ and go to bed.”

James Hill, a Chicago-based producer for ABC, said he got a chance to explore the area last year when he was in town for Edwards’ indictment. But this time around, he said, he is spending “a lot of time with the very nice people at the Marriott.”

“I keep waiting for the Greensboro Grasshoppers to play, seeing a Cuban kid, Jose (Fernandez), that’s with them,” he said. “And there are all those nice pubs and restaurants on Elm Street. I hope to actually be able to try them, but we’re doing 14-, 16-hour days.”

This is good for the hotels, which means more hotel tax money, which means more money the downtown performing arts center, eh?

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...