ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Hotels in Perry have been completely booked for the last six months.
People prepare almost a year in advance to make the trip to the Georgia National Fair each year, and the city more than welcomes the economic benefits.
Perry will host around 500,000 people in about an 11 day span.
“It’s probably the only place we can get half a million people to come by our booth every year,” said Ronnie Bryant, a vendor.
Bryant, a Perry native, has been selling food at the Georgia National Fair for 29 years. But he’s not the only local vendor who benefits from the event.
“We do have a lot of the local businesses, as well,” said Allison Hamsley, the Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.
When it comes to the Georgia National Fair, the city’s preparations start months in advance.
“For the city and all the restaurants and businesses, I think that it’s always a year round process,” said Hamsley.
Especially for the hotels.
“And at least six months out, all of the hotels are completely booked,” Hamsley said.
While fair goers spend the week eating, watching acts and riding rides, the city plans how to use the publicity to attract people year round.
“Some people do come and just go to the fair, and that’s all they do every year. But we at least get a percentage of those people that would not have come to Perry or even known that we were on the map without first coming to the fair,” said Hamsley.
And for Bryant, he knows just how needed the fair is for the community.
“It’s a tremendous boost to the economy, to the motels, to the hotels, the restaurants. People are staying here for the livestock shows. It’s just a big boost to the economy,” said Bryant.
Perry natives said they don’t mind the overwhelming traffic, either.
Natives said the economic boost the fair brings is worth any extra time spent in a car.