NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Long before the first of the tall ships arrived there was a lot of hype about Opsail 2012 and what it would mean to the shoreline economy.
OpSail 2012 was picture perfect, but did it live up to expectations with 800,000 visitors expected in Niantic and New London during the weekend.
"We are going to go ahead and hire a firm to do an economic analysis of what the final results were and I think we'll get a population count at that point," said John Johnson, OpSail 2012.
OpSail organizer John Johnson was so busy at his downtown gallery he had to close for a while just to keep up with customers.
"It was kind of hard to maneuver in and out of people," said Riley O'Brien. and I shook Linda McMahon' hand.
Some even came up from Tennessee for the weekend event.
"There was quite a few people," said Tracy O'Brien. "A lot of diversity, a lot of good food."
They lived in the area during OpSail 2000 and say this one was bigger, but some say it was smaller than other Sailfest celebrations with crowds coming in waves, first for the Parade of Sail.
"And then they sort of left because it was so hot and they they came back," said Barbara Neff, Sailfest organizer.
They came back for the fireworks Saturday night. Sunday was also better than it had been.
It's a safe bet to say that all of the businesses along Bank Street which have back decks were super busy Saturday night. Prime real estate for viewing the fireworks.
And like real estate, location may have dictated economic success. The Commoner saw a steady stream of customers, but made most of its bank Saturday night.
"A lot of people have said that this wasn't as busy as some of the other Sailfest events," said Jason Robinson, The Commoner. "I don't agree, I think as far as economically, I think people were out here to spend money and have fun, so what we lost in volume we absolutely gained in business and revenue."
The overall numbers may not be out for a while, but Johnson says they won't affect whether or not they'll bring OpSail back.
"It's just to make us all feel better or worse," Johnson said laughing
The next one could be OpSail 2015.
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