More boats at Beale Street Landing could mean millions for Memphis

American Queen
American Queen

(WMC-TV) – You will soon see more boats heading to Beale Street Landing. At least three are looking to dock there, which means thousands of dollars for the Riverfront Development.

Riverfront Development Corporation says the more boats they bring to Beale Street Landing, the more passengers. And more passengers means a better bottom line for businesses around the Bluff City.

The American Queen won't be the only boat to anchor at Beale Street Landing this fall.

The Grand Caribe, Yorktown, and the Queen of the Mississippi are also set to dock in Memphis.

In April, the American Queen made its inaugural arrival on the river. According to Benny Lendermon with the Riverfront Development Corporation, the American Queen makes a $90 million economic impact on the city.

Lendermon expects the smaller cruise ships to compete in earnings.

"You're looking at millions of dollars in economic impact from these boats coming here a dozen times to two dozen times next year," he said.

Lendermon said 10 to 15 percent of the cruise passengers will commute to Memphis from all over the world adding to tourism revenue.

"They go to Beale Street, they eat at restaurants, they get hotel rooms, a large number of them go to Graceland of course," he explained.

Each vessel carries about 75 to 150 passengers and will start rolling in between August and December.

The ships will be subject to a $15 docking fee per passenger but Lendermon said that revenue will go back into Beale Street Landing operations.

"We're not really trying to make money from the boats docking here, we're trying to attract the boats here so they will buy supplies and spend money in Memphis," he said.

Click here to see a complete listing of the steamboat schedules.

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