ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University's Homecoming is the largest tourism event of the year in Albany.
This week's celebration is expected to make a huge economic impact on Albany businesses.
ASU's Homecoming brings millions of dollars into the economy...and hotels like this one behind me are booked all around town not just for homecoming but for a big music festival as well.
Albany State kicked off this year's Homecoming theme "Still We Rise" by crowning their homecoming queen yesterday and continued with a musical celebration today.
This week's festivities are expected to generate millions of dollars into the economy.
"With ASU Homecoming coming up this week and this weekend, we're looking at over a 4 million dollar economic impact when it comes to the homecoming weekend," said Rachelle Beasley, Director of Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Officials at the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau have sent out thousands of these welcome bags with brochures and souvenirs to every hotel in Albany and all of them are booked to capacity.
"We've been booked up for about a week and a half now. Actually we're over booked by three," said Terrence McCullough, Assistant General Manager Courtyard Marriott.
The Courtyard Marriott event went up on their rates and expects to make more than $15,000 a night with the help of their new bistro and bar.
" It's very hectic, people have to pay one night in advance prior to booking the reservation and they would have to book for both nights which would be Friday and Saturday," said McCullough.
Organizers are also preparing for the Big Pine Music Festival at the fairgrounds this weekend...where music lovers can enjoy country and rock bands from several local artists.
"As far as hotels and restaurants I think that the streaming revenue of events like that and like this is bring in is what it takes for a town to really succeed," said Evan Barber, Threeforty Owner
"Anytime you have events going on simultaneously at the same time it's going to drive up the economic impact," said Rachelle Beasley.
Officials at the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau say it's important for us to be mindful of the visitors coming to town, so that they will want to come back and experience all that Albany has to offer..not just on this weekend, but for other weekends to come.