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San Diego Pride brings money, business to Hillcrest and beyond

While Pride is a fun way for the LGBTQ+ community to get together, there's more to this event that helps San Diego economically.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Pride brings in lots of money and business to the city. While events don't look "pre-pandemic" just yet, thousands of people still made their way to celebrate this weekend.

"I would say [I spent] easily over 2 grand," said Brandon Miller, visiting from Palm Springs. 

While Pride is a fun way for the LGBTQ+ community to get together, there's more to this event that helps San Diego economically. 

"The VIP pass was $150 per person and the hotel, we're staying at the Lafayette hotel, it was $715 for the weekend, and food beverage - probably another $300 or more," said Miller and Edouard Halin. 

The two were visiting to experience Pride in America's Finest City. 

Director of Philanthropy for Pride Sarafina Scapicchio said millions of dollars are usually drawn in during PRIDE. 

"2018, which is the last year we were able to do that unbiased study, and the economic impact of Prides programs and events was $26.6 million," said Scapicchio. 

An SDSU study was done to gauge how much money was made that year. 

"That went literally to our TOT fund, to the hotels, to the restaurants. When you're talking about our philanthropy, we're just a $4-million organization. That economic impact is talking about people coming into San Diego and spending money here," said Scapicchio. 

Back in 2019, 61 LGBTQ organizations received grants from Pride. Since 1994, San Diego Pride's philanthropy has exceeded $3 million, which has helped dozens of organizations through grants, scholarships, and support. 

"We're hopeful we can give out to the community this year - we're just unsure. We're trying hard to do all the fundraising we can to stay in the positive," she said. 

Scapicchio said earnings have been cut in half due to covid, and a canceled Pride last year. 

The event this year has brought in thousands of visitors and with that comes the success of businesses and money being spent at restaurants, bars, hotels, which ultimately helps the city of San Diego thrive every year.

WATCH RELATED: This year's San Diego Pride theme is resilience