Columbus economy to spike in the next two weeks

By Katherine Kington - email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Ten thousand -- That's the estimated number of people that will come to the Columbus Civic Center the next couple weekends.

Hotels are booked, restaurants filled with reservations, but the Chamber of Commerce sees other business dramatically spiking too. 

Michael Dunbar with the Chamber of Commerce said, " Whenever we have a convention of this size in the community is so many elements they touch. Not only hotels, motels but the gas stations the stores because when everyone goes to a new town they want to see the stores."

The Holiday Inn express on Victory Drive is completely full both weekends, and most of the occupants are attending the Jehovah's Witnesses convention.

The General Manager of the hotel, Alex Naik, said "Probably they're looking for some 3000 hotel rooms and it's a great impact on our economy and probably. I think it's about more than $1,000,000 they're bringing here to our city. So it's a great impact on our economy."

Normally quiet this time of year, with many families heading south for vacations and the holiday weekend, Columbus businesses instead are staying steady.

"It's a great impact on our economy because on this weekend and the coming weekend, all the hotels are running about 100 percent occupancy so it's a great impact on our city." Said Naik.

The heavy foot traffic from the convention means more to Columbus than just sales. "They also help us pay for our 1 cent sales tax because every penny that they spend goes to the 1% sales tax so they help us fund things like the 100 police officers or the schools." added Dunbar on the attendees.

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