Foot traffic up to near pre-pandemic levels in Center City Philadelphia

About 104,000 people visited the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and the Christmas Village during Thanksgiving weekend.

Walter Perez Image
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Foot traffic up to near pre-pandemic levels in Center City
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Center City District President Paul Levy says the encouraging news actually started coming in last month.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Foot traffic is up in Center City Philadelphia. It may seem like a benign fact, but it is a really big deal for businesses and restaurants in the area.

Center City District President Paul Levy says the encouraging news actually started coming in last month.

"In October of this year, we were back up to 87% of the number of regional shoppers, tourists, and visitors coming into Center City. That's the highest we've been close to since 2019," he said.

RELATED: Christmas Village opens, many customers opting to shop local this year

And then came the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend when 104,000 visitors descended on Dilworth Park to check out the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, the Christmas Village, and other attractions in Center City.

That is approximately 5,500 more pedestrians since the Thanksgiving weekend of 2019, before the pandemic.

Levy says, of course, they are not done working to bring Center City back to its previous vibrancy, but the trend is certainly moving in the right direction.

"A ton of effort went into producing a real quality experience and when you see the people come out, the numbers are just a verification of what you're seeing with your eyes," he said.

And the vendors we spoke with at the holiday market say so far, so good.

"This past weekend was super busy. We had people here literally nonstop during the Eagles game," said Marc Berman from Philly Word Art.

"It has been really exciting and encouraging so far. The turnout last week, when we opened, was fantastic. And every day we see a steady stream of people and they are excited to be back," Tina Dixon-Spence, from Buddha Babe, said.