Weekend events to bring economic boom to Chattahoochee Valley

Week of conventions, tournaments brings tourism and boost to Columbus economy

Columbus, GA (WTVM) - Thousands of visitors from across the country are visiting the Fountain City this week, coming together for sports tournaments, religious conventions, and other events in the area. 

The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau said big money is now coming in to boost the local economy. 

The CVB tallied up the total number of visitors, rounding up to nearly 6,200 tourists. The bureau said the groups in town will spend an estimated $1.8 million on hotels, dining, nightlife, shopping, and other local businesses. 

Peter Bowden, the bureau's president and CEO, said March is the start of peak travelling time for tourists making their way to the Fountain City.

Bowden also said many major events, like this week's archery tournament, undoubtedly impact the larger Chattahoochee Valley economy. 

"It's one of those things where we're fortunate in the fact that it is a bi-city, or tri-city event," he said, adding that the different groups and organizations are staying in hotels in both Columbus and Phenix City.

Additionally, he said competitors in the archery tournaments use the range at Uchee Creek on the Alabama side of Fort Benning, adding more communities into the revenue mix. 

Another example Bowden referred to that added significant tourism dollars was the recent Georgia Thespians Convention hosted at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. 

This, and other conventions, Bowden said, is part of a long-term strategy to ensure more and more groups look at Columbus as a conference destination.

The CVB reported that around 1.8 million people visited Columbus in 2016, spending almost $400 million.

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