ASU homecoming weekend, good business for Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU homecoming weekend, good business for Albany

October 30, 2007

Albany-  This year's Albany State University homecoming events had a nearly four million dollar impact on the area's economy.

That's a million more than last year. As anticipated, crowds at Albany State University reached as high as 25,000. Businesses in Albany say it was a good weekend for them and the crowds seemed pleased as they left.

Albany retailers have just now caught their breath from a busy weekend thanks to Albany State University's homecoming. Retailers say the crowds improved business over typical October sales.

"I'd say our sales were up 15 to 20 percent over a normal weekend and people were in a good mood and seemed to be having a good time," said Louis Bernard, owner, The Warehouse.

Hotels benefited from two and three night stays.

"We had people coming in on Thursday, Friday night and most of them did not leave out until Sunday afternoon, we had a couple of people stay over to Monday," said Simone Quimbly, Holiday Inn Sales Coordinator.

According to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, that means a greater economic impact on Albany.

"Saying that they were here for two nights, it's an economic impact of about four million dollars. So, we don't have exact numbers because we don't know how many come in and stay for how long, but as an estimate, we would say this weekend generates about four million dollars in economic impact," said Lisa Riddle, Convention Services Manager.

The community's support of the event really made a difference with Alumni.

"We have 14,000 alumni, here across the state of Georgia, across the nation and we made certain that we brought home the classes of the 2's and the 7's and we had a leadership group of alumni from the class of 1967 celebrating their 40th reunion and so that brought a whole lot of folks home," said Angela Getter, ASU Institutional Advancement.

In fact, ASU hopes the enthusiasm and momentum carries over for another weekend they have planned to celebrate the 105th anniversary next April when they're a "Tom Joyner School of the month."

"At that 105th anniversary celebration, alumni will come home again to celebrate the Tom Joyner Sky Show and all the activities that surround a week long celebration," said Getter.

University officials hope that will big business for the community, just like homecoming. The next big weekend for hotels and retailers in Albany won't come until after the first of the year, when Quail Unlimited comes to town.

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