Amarillo, TX - An event in Amarillo is expected to have an impact in more ways than one, as it has nearly doubled in size since its first year.
While it's no San Diego Comic-Con, organizers tell us the recent growth of the AMA-CON event is keeping them optimistic that it can one day be even bigger.
Comic book lovers, cosplayers and anime enthusiasts have been rejoicing for the last three years...and this year will be no different.
Locals are preparing for Amarillo's own AMA-CON. "Any of those wonderfully awesome geeky, nerdy, dorky things, this is a celebration of all those things," says Amarillo Public Library's Stacy Clopton Yates.
Last year, there were over 3,500 attendees and this year, many more are expected. It's grown so much in size, the convention is now a two-day event as vendors and participants are starting to come from out of town.
Michelle Calvin is a local comic book store owner, and she says the impact AMA-CON has on her business is substantial. "Just to get our name out there some more," says Calvin. "People don't know we're over here very often because we're in kind of an outer part of the town area, so it's harder to find us sometimes, but we just want to get exposure."
With thousands of participants and vendors, officials tell us the economy will most certainly see stimulation. "Maybe they just need a tank of gas, or maybe they're going to a restaurant, or hopefully they're spending the night, so you know it depends on what level of travel they had to do, but we may see over $600,000 of economic impact this weekend alone," says Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council's Eric Miller.
"It is an event that is different from anything else and it caters to a specific group of people who don't always have a place to go and celebrate their fandom and we do have people who travel from outside Amarillo and outside the state to be part of AMA-CON," says Yates.
"I think it's going to be a lot bigger this year, you know," says Calvin. "I want to see new vendors, I want to see just the tournaments and things like that do really well."
AMA-CON 2015 is this Saturday and Sunday at the Amarillo Civic Center.
Any proceeds made from the event go to the friends of the Amarillo Public Library projects including the summer reading program and ESL classes.