Economic Times Have The Entertainment Essay

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Clearly, restaurants and bars have their work cut out for them if they wish to capture their share of the scarce entertainment dollars in the market right now. When the main criteria for where to go becomes "whatever is nearby and cheap," that is bad news for those in the industry. Making it even more difficult for restaurant and bar owners, people are traveling less as well for the entertainment. 40% of respondents indicated that they mainly stick close to home now, or combine entertainment such as dining at a restaurant close to a movie theater.

Even teenagers, normally prolific entertainment spenders, are feeling the pinch. Parents are reducing allowances, which in turn has caused teens to reevaluate their financial priorities. "My parents are definitely a lot stricter on how much cash they give me," lamented John Demet, 17, "I should probably look into getting a job soon if I ever want to have a girlfriend."

That may be easier said than done. The unemployment rate in Atlanta hit 10.1% in December, up from 7.6% in December 2008. In the entertainment industry, this has lead to a vicious cycle. Fewer consumers have jobs, and those that do are more fearful for their economic future than before. In...

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The entertainment budget is often one of the first things to go. This impacts people in that industry, causing even more reduction in entertainment spending. "Times are very tough right now," notes Yolanda Press, 62.
For Atlanta's entertainment industry, economic recovery cannot come soon enough. It is clear from the survey results that Atlanta residents love to go out, on all nights of the week, but under the present circumstances they have been forced to cut back. With a recovery, the big spenders will return, marking a win-win situation for entertainment-starved citizens and recession-weary proprietors alike.

For the time being, there seems to be little that can be done. Consumers need to start going out again, patronizing their favorite restaurants and night spots. For that to happen, however, they need to feel confident about the economy, and in particular their jobs. Only then will the entertainment industry start to see its revenues increase and begin to feel a sense of relief. In the meantime, they need to continue to be creative in their marketing and promotions to attract the business of those who are…

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