The Pope was in Philly Sept. 26 and 27, 2015 for the World Meeting of Families, in his first visit to the United States. The city first anticipated crowds of about 2 million, but then had trouble filling hotel rooms, and transit demand that weekend was weaker than usual. Pope Francis spent two days in Philly, and bunked up with Archbishop Charles Chaput at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood. Crowds were estimated to be smaller than the anticipated one million, and many Center City businesses reported losses for the weekend.
So many numbers were bandied about before the papal visit. How did a $45 million surplus turn into a bill?
“We did very well,” said Ed Grose, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association — while the same weekend last year saw more rentals, those rates were $160 a night, not $350 and up.