Charlotte almost makes the top quarter of fun cities in WalletHub survey. Is it the brewery factor?

Dec. 8. With the average American spending over $3,500 on entertainment each year, the personal-finance website WalletHub  released its report on 2022’s Most Fun Cities in America.

You’d think with all the breweries — one of the key metrics in the survey — in Charlotte and Lake Norman, the region might have ranked higher than 48th of 182. Or maybe the breweries upped the rank.

To help Americans find the cities with the greatest number and variety of fun yet cost-effective options, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on 65 key metrics. They range from fitness centers per capita to movie costs to average open hours of breweries.

Key stats

—Orlando, Florida, has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.2927, which is 17.8 times more than in Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the fewest at 0.4094.

—San Francisco has the highest share of the population with walkable park access, 99.76 percent, which is 3.1 times higher than in Indianapolis, the city with the lowest at 32.50 percent.

—Las Vegas has the most playgrounds (per square root of population), 1.1285, which is 22.8 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.0496.

—San Francisco has the most dance clubs (per square root of population), 0.1422, which is 79 times more than in Henderson, Nevada, the city with the fewest at 0.0018.

—Brownsville, Texas, has the lowest average beer price (per six-pack), $7.49, which is 1.6 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $12.33.

—Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the lowest movie cost, $6.43, which is 2.7 times lower than in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, the cities with the highest at $17.40.

Inflation impact

WalletHub also asked experts: Will rising inflation have an impact on visitors to U.S. cities? 

S. Abraham (Avri) Ravid

Inflation will certainly affect travel and tourism. If prices rise faster than wages, people will be less able to afford any good or service they buy. …

Everything else equal, people will prefer to travel to closer destinations, saving on all types of transportation costs since these costs are rising faster than overall inflation. Also, since the rise in gasoline prices has been lower than the rise in airfares, if people choose to travel further, they will prefer driving to flying when possible. One other possible outcome of these changes in habits (which we had seen in published studies) is that as energy and transportation prices increase, destinations that are close to major population centers do relatively better and may even attract more tourists than previously, whereas far away destinations that require a long car trip or a flight from major population centers experience a steep drop in visits.

S. Abraham (Avri) Ravid, Sy Syms School of Business – Yeshiva University

Amanda Belarmino

Logically, inflation always has an impact on travel but this time around it seems that consumers are making different trade-offs than usual. When we see declines in streaming services, gaming services, and at-home fitness while seeing continued strong numbers in travel, it seems that consumers are spending their leisure budget on travel more than they have at other times of high inflation. This may be due to the impacts of the COVID-19 quarantine and an increased number of Americans working from home. I would expect that travel will be impacted by inflation in 2023 but not as it has been in the past.

—Amanda Belarmino, Ph.D. – University of Nevada, Las Vegas


No comments yet.

Post a Comment