Potential economic impact of Pope Francis' Pa. visit growing

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 24, 2015 4:46 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio's window, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, July 19, 2015.

(Fairless Hills) --The president of the World Meeting of Families says the estimate of the economic impact of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia in September continues to grow. 

Bob Ciaruffoli has told the Bucks County Chamber of Commerce a study done by the group, which is hosting the pope, estimated the economic impact at $418 million. 

But now the group believes that will surpass $500 million based on the growing number of visitors expected. 

He says the World Meeting has secured hotel rooms from as far away as Atlantic City and the Poconos to accommodate the crowds coming to see the pope.

The initial estimate was based on the assumption that visitors would stay in the city and its immediate suburbs.  

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