November 22nd, 2008

SW: luke personalized

Saudi's boost the economy of my old hometown

From, a visit by a Saudi Arabian king to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota gave a "shot in the arm" to the city's economy.

Rochester officials say Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz arrived on November 15 for a checkup at the Mayo Clinic and was accompanied by at least five princes and hundreds of others.

The king left Wednesday, but some members of his group remain in Rochester.

Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Brad Jones says a conservative estimate of the royal family's spending on the trip to Mayo Clinic is up to $1.5 million.

That's probably pocket-change to the Saudis, but I don't know how often they've been in Rochester, especially since 9/11 because I'm pretty sure their visits haven't been quite as public since. I wouldn't think that $1.5 million would mean so much to a city of one-hundred thousand, but it must mean something to get any sort of publicity.

The best story I've heard about the Saudi royal family when they visit Rochester is that they clear out all the furniture on the hotel floor(s) they're staying at and buy new stuff at local stores instead. Not sure if they bring their own, but that's a possibility.