SACRAMENTO -- Wide Open Walls is underway in Sacramento, bringing in artists and tourists from around the country to the capital city to check out the dozens of murals.
As long as Tank House general manager David Kyle can remember, there hasn’t been much to see in the alleyway behind the bar. But with a stroke of a brush, things have changed.
“Tons of people walking by. I mean, people, I think, come by just to look at the murals and it’s cool to have one on our block,” Kyle told FOX40.
Wide Open Walls is turning blank walls into pieces of art but is it doing more for the city?
“It certainly has brought a lot of attention to Sacramento,” said Mike Testa, the president of Visit Sacramento.
Testa works on tourism in the capital city and said Wide Open Walls has become a major event.
“Whenever you have people from out of town, whether it’s conventions or artists or music festivals, they stay in hotels. They spend money in the restaurants. They buy souvenirs. So, it’s always a good thing to bring people from out of Sacramento to stay here,” he told FOX40.
Testa said it’s hard to track just exactly how much extra business Wide Open Walls has brought to Sacramento but the art itself is a year-round attraction.
One valuable thing the tourism group can track is publicity.
“If you’re in a different part of the country and you read a story about Wide Open Walls does that build some intrigue on Sacramento and get you to look at the market and maybe come here down the road?” Testa said. “It doesn't mean you come for Wide Open Walls but it gives you a reason to come and check out this market and that’s valuable.”
“When Rolling Stone is talking about this, when the New York Times, when that kind of stuff happens around I think it's just great for tourism," said Wide Open Walls founder David Sobon.
Wide Open Walls will continue through Saturday with a street party and concert at Capitol Mall.