TF2 Brings More Than Just Boom To Town’s Skyline

07/06/2008 0 By Administratus Prime

 With a big budget blockbuster like “Transformers 2” in town, the skyline above Bethlehem Steel wasn’t the only thing booming this week. So was business. “The economic impact was fantastic,” said Dennis Costello, of Hotel Bethlehem.

In just five days, the hotel took in $50,000 after the movie studio, DreamWorks, booked dozens of rooms for cast and crewmembers, including director Michael Bay and stars Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel.

“They were extremely easy to work with. In fact, they were probably some of the most undemanding guests I’ve encountered,” Costello said. “I like it here. I wish I could stay longer. It feels like home,” Duhamel told Weaver during an interview earlier in the week. Duhamel was walking historic Main Street after working out in the gym at American Hairlines, where co-star Gibson also pumped iron.

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“They came in and we ended up giving them a tour of the gym. They came and worked out throughout the week. It was really cool. They were totally normal and nice,” said Meghan McGrady, of American Hairlines. The movie studio also picked the gym-spa-salon to give massages to crewmembers on set.

Before filming, city officials estimated local businesses would take in $500,000 in residual revenue. But they now believe it could be double that. “It’s probably like one of the business weeks since I opened Dec. 1,” said Rob Peters, of Bonte Café. Peters served lunch to crowds of fans. But his best customer of the week was the film’s director, Bay.

“Just a croissant and coffee. That was his breakfast. It was 1:30 in the afternoon,” Peters said. While local restaurants were a big draw, the most popular spot during filming was Cantelmi’s Hardware, where crew members dropped $30,000 on nails, paint, chainsaws and gas-powered trimmers.

“It was every kind of item that you could imagine,” Richard Cantelmi said. “We were very convenient. I meant they could literally walk from their trailer and be here.” But even with the big profits, business owners agreed it’s not the money they appreciate most.

“Once the movie comes out, it should be really big plus for Bethlehem, and we hope some more happens from this,” Peters said.

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Source: NBC10