Miami Beach

The Economic Impact of Ultra Miami: How the Festival Boosts Local Business

With Ultra Miami 2023 less than a week away, crews are working around the clock to ensure that everything is ready before the masses enter through the gates of Bayfront Park. Festival goers from across the country and around the world will also start arriving as early as the beginning of the week, dumping a significant amount of revenue into the local Miami economy. In this article, we will take a look at the economic impact of Ultra Miami and how it boosts local businesses.

It comes as no surprise that an event as massive as Ultra Miami generates millions in revenue not only for itself but also for the city of Miami and surrounding areas. City Commissioner Keon Hardemon once highlighted the significance of the festival to the local economy in a statement after the city agreed to hold the festival back at Bayfront Park in 2020. Hardemon stated that Ultra “generated approximately $995 million of economic impact, generating $168 million and creating 1,834 jobs in 2018 alone.” With those numbers, it’s no wonder why the city found a way to welcome Ultra back to Bayfront Park. 

In 2022 alone, Ultra saw about 165,000 people in attendance throughout the three days of the event, which comes out to about 55,000 people per day. Of the 55,000 in attendance, 60% percent typically come outside of Miami-Dade county, with more than 100 countries being represented last year. This means that a majority of people will need to book hotels or AirBnBs, as well as use some form of transportation throughout the weekend such as public transportation, rent cars or use rideshare apps. All of these actions bring an enormous amount of revenue to everyone offering their services to the masses.

Ultra’s massive venue rental agreement of $2 million (2019 and after) to the city of Miami also helps out the local economy in another way that most don’t really think about, and that is funding city projects such as the completion of a civil rights museum and updates to the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. The significance of how much this money really matters to the city was shown in 2019 when Ultra declined to bring back the festival to Virginia Key in search of a new city to host an event. With Ultra potentially out of the picture for good, the anticipated revenue stream that Miami-Dade County said is required before the museum can be built was compromised and incomplete.  

With all the information above, it’s clear why the City of Miami finalized an agreement in May 2022 with Ultra that established Bayfront Park as the home of the festival until 2027. It’s safe to say that Ultra Miami will continue to have a major economic impact on Miami-Dade County in the next five years.


Photo by Lize-Mari Jooste on Unsplash

Dance music enthusiast from San Diego, CA

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