County poised for continued growth with Sports & Events Center opening in fall
Visitors spent more than $1.7 billion in Henrico County during 2022, the highest total of any locality in central Virginia and the fifth highest in Virginia, according to an annual study released today for the Virginia Tourism Corp.
Henrico’s total includes sales of $406 million on food and beverage, $226 million on lodging, $165 million on retail, $167 million on recreation and about $754 million on transportation. Overall, spending by tourists and other visitors to Henrico jumped by 27.2% from 2021.
“Every year, more and more visitors are learning what our residents and businesses already know – that Henrico County is a great place to be,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Tourism continues to thrive not only in the county but across the region, helping to fuel our economy, fund local services and raise our quality of life. Henrico is poised for further growth, particularly in attracting sports tourism, because we offer first-class parks and athletic facilities, including the Henrico Sports & Events Center that will open later this fall.”
Statewide, spending by visitors totaled $30.3 billion in 2022. Among localities, Henrico followed the totals for the counties of Loudoun, Arlington and Fairfax and the city of Virginia Beach. The totals reflect spending by travelers who had stayed overnight in paid accommodations or had taken day or overnight trips at least 50 miles from home.
Tourism in Henrico supported more than 10,000 jobs with a combined payroll income of $521 million in 2022. It also generated tax receipts of about $76 million for the county and $40 million for the state.
Henrico and seven other localities in the region combined to attract $3.4 billion in visitor spending, supporting more than 27,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.1 billion.
In 2022, Henrico hosted 136 outdoor tournaments that generated nearly $65 million in local economic activity. Construction is almost complete on the Henrico Sports & Events Center, a 185,000-square-foot venue that will be able to accommodate indoor events, such as basketball and volleyball tournaments plus high school graduations, concerts and other gatherings. The center, targeted to open this fall, is being built at Virginia Center Commons through a partnership between the county and Rebkee Co., which is redeveloping the former mall property with housing, retail and other uses. Henrico has missed capturing as much as $33 million in annual spending by not having a venue for indoor sports, according to county estimates.
Tourism Economics compiled the data for the Virginia Tourism Corp. More information is available at vatc.org.