Local Business Cash in on Jehovah's Witness Convention - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local Business Cash in on Jehovah's Witness Convention

More than five thousand people packed the Amarillo Civic Center this weekend for the Annual Jehovah's Witness Convention. 

The convention is estimated to bring in two million bucks in just three days. To put it in the words of the Amarillo Visitors Council, anytime you can get a multi-million dollar shot in the arm it's a huge deal.

Neal and Becky Brooks are convention regulars... They make the trip from Midland every year. This year, they made sure to make hotel reservations early. "We called back in January."

That turned out to be good planning on their part... Hotel rooms were in high demand this weekend.

Convention Coordinator Virgil Lowery says, "Right now we have about five thousand people." With many of those folks from out of town, hotel rooms across Amarillo filled up quickly.

Holiday Inn Express Operations Manager Abel Josephson says, "We couldn't be happier to have them. This month, this season, it's one of the cornerstone conventions, this Jehovah's Witness Convention, so we're feeling the fruits of that push in the economy."

All of those people not only need a place to stay, but they'll of course need a place to eat as well... Which means local restaurants are packed.

Heather Lopez with Jorge's Tacos Garcia says, "Our sales go up, oh around, I don't know, just guessing about ten to twenty percent more during Jehovah's Witness Convention times."

But hotels and restaurants aren't the only ones cashing in. Visitor and Convention Bureau's Eric Miller says, "The retail stores, the movie theaters, the grocery stores, the gas stations. It hits all across our economy."

Miller says the convention helps you as well, even if you didn't go anywhere near the civic center this weekend. "That means it's adding a lot to our sales tax, so it's helping our city." 

The Jehovah's Witness Convention has been coming to Amarillo for more than two decades.

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