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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Bolsters Local Economy by Hosting Conferences

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Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2014) - The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' hosting of an international science technology conference in October pumped an estimated $2.28 million into the Raleigh economy, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Association of Science-Technology Centers' (ASTC) annual meeting on Oct. 18-21 at the Raleigh Convention Center drew more than 1,700 delegates representing 42 countries. It marked the third large-scale gathering hosted by the nationally acclaimed museum this year. Also in 2014, the museum hosted Evolution 2014, the premier annual opportunity for sharing scientific research related to evolution, which had close to 2,000 attendees from 38 countries, as well as the Symposium on Animal Movement and the Environment which had approximately 200 attendees.

"While the economic impact of ASTC is significant to Raleigh's economy, the overall success of the conference helps to solidify that the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is at the forefront of science education and programming," said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau. "When one of our signature museums, in terms of leisure visitation, is also one of the country's signature museums for the professional science community, it helps position our entire area as a hub for work and play."

That aligns with Gov. Pat McCrory's proposed revitalization of the government complex, according to Emlyn Koster, director of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.

"Great museums such as ours and the North Carolina Museum of History serve as cornerstones for the governor's downtown vision, Project Phoenix," Koster said. "Every local visitor, every tourist, and every conference delegate play a part in reinforcing the museums' impact on the burgeoning downtown area and on the attraction of new investors, whose relocation decisions consider the quality of life for their employees and families."  

In the eyes of last month's conference visitors, the capital city unquestionably put its best foot forward, said Bud Rock, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Science-Technology Centers.

"Raleigh is vibrant - impressively interconnected, impeccably clean and very friendly - and it excelled at being our 2014 conference host," Rock said. I thank Gov. McCrory, University of North Carolina System President (Tom) Ross and Mayor (Nancy) McFarlane for welcoming us in our program and opening session, and also the many local businesses who were conference sponsors. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences shined as one of the thought and practice leaders for our sector and by creating what delegates have rated as one of our best conferences ever."

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Media Contact: Jonathan Pishney  |  Communications Director  |  NC Museum of Natural Sciences T: 919.707.8083  |  jonathan.pishney@naturalsciences.org

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