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City lost $7,500 with Mumford and Sons event, gained new ideas

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Updated: 10/12/2013 4:00 am
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Mumford and Sons shut St. Augustine down with their stellar performance last month.

The event was a big hit with concertgoers, but it wasn't quite in tune with the city's revenue projections.

"Come close to breaking even, that was always our goal," said St. Augustine City Manager John Regan.

The city just missed the mark. According to the preliminary report, the city spent just under $534,000 and raked in a little over $526,000 from the event. That amounts to a more than $7,500 loss.

"When you figure that we had a program that had somewhere between a $5 million and $9 million economic impact, that's pretty good," said Regan.

The city went over budget on public transit by $88,000. We learned that money was spent on 30 additional shuttle buses, buses that seemed to shuttle customers away from local businesses.

"If we had 50 percent of the shuttling then we would have still been able to have a decent weekend," said Lorna MacDonald, owner of the Raintree Restaurant.

Restaurant owners say said they needed more foot traffic. For the next big event, we're told the city will have fewer buses and more drop-off locations. With more drop-off locations, city officials say that will help shuffle more people in other parts of the city, giving the businesses the foot traffic they need to meet their goals.

Those businesses will have a chance to make up for the loss with two big events coming up. This weekend is the Greek Festival and next weekend the city will host the Spanish Food and Wine Festival.
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