- Wallethub released a study to determine the top U.S. cities for celebrating Valentine's Day based on a number of metrics, including accessibility to activities, affordability of dining options and the number of jewelry or gift stores per capita.
- The study found the top 20 cities for celebrating Valentine's Day are:
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Portland, OR
- Los Angeles
- Austin, TX
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Washington, DC
- San Antonio
- San Jose, CA
- The National Retail Federation estimates U.S. consumers will spend an average of $144 dollars on Valentine's Day this year, with total spending expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year.
While not every city dweller celebrates Valentine's Day — Wallethub estimates that 45% of adults do not plan to celebrate this year — the holiday is still a good opportunity for cities to showcase their fun and unique offerings, and to cash in on the nearly $20 billion-day event. As with trick-or-treating on Halloween, some adults are willing to travel to neighboring cities to take advantage of the urban-specific opportunities, such as free events in downtown districts, and cities are wise to prepare for the influx of visitors ahead of time.
Some ride-share services are leveraging the holiday to attract new riders. Lyft promoted a chance to win an "ultimate Valentine's getaway for two" for riders who used the service from Sunday to Tuesday — "the more you ride, the more chances you have to win," the service wrote in a blog post — and Uber is serving up a range of promotional offerings around the globe, from "survival kits" to free kebab dinners for singles.
As more metro areas lean into branding and marketing opportunities, "Hallmark holidays" such as Valentine's Day are timely opportunities to promote a city's attractions to visitors and increase quality-of-experience for longer-term residents.