While most people on the Mid-Shore know that the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is one of the region’s most popular attractions, it doesn’t immediately cross their minds that it also has a huge economic impact on its community and even on a statewide level.
For the senior staff and trustees of the CBMM, this gap in awareness is an important one. Not only does this information help with the institution’s long-term plans, it also provides valuable metrics that help philanthropists, local governments, and other grant-making organizations make investments. But most importantly, it gives real time data to the local community that how relevant and critical the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is to local businesses.
A recently completed statewide impact study shows just how much of an economic contributor CBMM is to St. Michaels, Talbot County, the Mid-Shore, and the state of Maryland. In 2019, visitors traveling specifically to visit CBMM from more than 50 miles generated $11.6 million in visitor spending for Talbot County – $11 million of which was spent in St. Michaels on local travel-related goods and services. The study also details that spending by out-of-state visitors who specifically traveled to St. Michaels to visit CBMM generated $6.5 million in net economic impact for Maryland.
Rockport Analytics, an independent research firm based in Annapolis, Md., conducted the study, analyzing CBMM’s 2019 data with statewide numbers. The conservative report measured the benefits of CBMM’s (1) ongoing operations, (2) visitors and local spending, (3) future construction and operational impacts that will result from CBMM’s campus expansion, and (4) the educational and community impact that CBMM provides to St. Michaels, Talbot County, and Maryland.
Other key findings:
- CBMM-initiated visitor spending and expenses for operations in Talbot County reached almost $12.6 million, resulting in nearly $10.3 million in total economic impact for the county’s economy.
- CBMM visitor, business operations, and capital spending generated more than $1 million in total tax revenue for Maryland.
- For every $1 spent in Talbot County by CBMM’s business operations and visitors, the county’s economy retained about 82 cents. Around 14 cents of this total spending was retained as local tax revenue.
- The state and local taxes collected from CBMM-supported spending were enough to educate 130 Talbot County public school students for one school year.
- Without CBMM, Talbot County’s 37,181 households would each have to pay $46 more in state and local taxes to maintain current levels of tax receipts.
- Forty-four cents of every dollar spent by CBMM visitors goes toward the wages of St Michaels’s workers in the town’s restaurant, lodging, and retail establishments.
- CBMM visitor and business operations spending supported more than 250 direct jobs in Talbot County.
- CBMM’s Phase 1 building expansion will bring $4.2 million value-added for Talbot County and is projected to contribute $3 million in Talbot County wages.
Rockport Analytics used the IMPLAN modeling system to translate CBMM related spending into local economic benefits. The IMPLAN model (or “impact analysis for planning”) is a non-proprietary database and modeling system that is considered industry standard and has been used by government agencies, academia, and leading researchers for more than 40 years to carry out economic impact studies.
Last year, CBMM welcomed more than 84,000 guests. Through volunteer programs, internships, and apprenticeships, CBMM also builds human capital, serving as a valuable resource for the development of basic and specialized job skills. CBMM is now engaged in certified workforce training with the Shipyard’s four-year apprenticeship program, which is registered by both the U.S. and Maryland departments of labor. The $5 million Maryland Dove contract awarded to CBMM in 2019 generated 10 jobs and a new attraction for visitors.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum officially reopened to the public at the end of June, with everyone on campus required to follow the Town of St. Michaels ordinance and wear facial coverings inside buildings at all times and outdoors when within six feet of other guests. Additional information on CBMM’s enhanced health and comfort measures and operational changes for reopening can be found at welcome.cbmm.org.