Two hunting events to bring big economic impact - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two hunting events to bring big economic impact

January 23, 2007

Albany-- This is one of the biggest business weeks of the year for Albany. Thousands of hunters are coming for a week of competition and fun. For the South Georgia business community, those visitors will make a huge economic impact.

The Holiday Inn is sprucing up all their rooms. They are the headquarters for the United Kennel Club's Winter Classic, and all their rooms will be full. Thousands of people from across the country will come to compete their dogs.

Liz Gray, the Holiday Inn Director of Sales said "it is a very large event on a very slow time of the year for most hotels and retail businesses, right after Christmas." 

 Also in Albany this week, the Quail Unlimited Celebrity Quail Hunt. 54 stars of sports, music, and television will hunt birds will attract hundreds of people from across the country. Restaurants like the Ole Times Country Buffet make special plans to handle the crowds.  Ole Times General Manager B. J. Fletcher said "we prepare for a storm."

 A storm of hungry customers that will spend at least three days in Albany for the Coon Hunt and Quail Unlimited Hunt. The Chick Fil-A drive thru on Dawson Road already is feeling the surge of business. Chick Fil - A owner K.J. Wari said "we already have orders, big orders for breakfast lined up. Couple of days we are going to have to come in early to just have some of the orders put together for them."

The Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates this week's two hunting events will have more than two million dollars in economic impact on the community.

So the hotels and restaurants are gearing up for a busy, and profitable week, glad that South Georgia's hunting can attract nationwide events bringing in huge crowds. Wari said "absolutely, absolutely. We need to keep the hotel rooms filled with all kinds of activities in Albany, and I think we'll do fine.'

The impact of huge crowds of tourists will be felt by almost all businesses in Albany, which they would welcome more often. Soundbite Fletcher said "every weekend. No, not every weekend. Give us a break." 

 But not this week. This is the biggest week of the year for Albany business welcoming out of town guests.

This will be the 21st Annual Quail Unlimited Celebrity Hunt, and the 20th year in a row it has been held in Albany.  

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