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Originally published April 29, 2011 at 8:26 AM | Page modified April 29, 2011 at 8:37 AM

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Economic impact of Picasso show estimated at $66 million

The economic impact of the Picasso exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum was $66 million, including $58 million in King County, according to a study by University of Washington professor William Beyers.

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The economic impact of the Picasso exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum was $66 million, including $58 million in King County, according to a study by University of Washington professor William Beyers.

The museum commissioned the study to quantify the financial impact of the show, which ran from early October through the middle of January. More than 405,000 people attended — second only to the museum's 1978 King Tut exhibition, which was held at Seattle Center and drew 1.3 million visitors.

Beyers looked at both direct and indirect spending by the museum and show visitors.

He estimated that visitors directly spent about $22.7 million, of which $16.1 million was "new money" — spending that would not have occurred without the exhibition. That total includes what they spent on admissions, food and beverages, lodging, travel, souvenirs, entertainment and parking.

An estimated 51 percent of the visitors came from outside King County. Of those 24 percent were Washington state residents, 18 percent came from elsewhere in the United States and 9 percent came from foreign countries.

For 35 percent of the visitors, it was their first visit to the museum.

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