Montgomery looks to cash in big on upcoming week

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The River Region is days away from riding in on a good week. Five  major events start next Wednesday, March 24.

First up to bat? The Capital City Classic featuring Alabama and Auburn college baseball at Riverwalk Stadium.

"When Alabama and Auburn play, it's always a big deal," said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dawn Hathcock.

And that's only the beginning.

The next night the circus rolls into town at Garrett Coliseum and that same night the Bryan Adams concert and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa.

These are heady times for hotel marketing director Ray Ezelle. "Together we expect north of 2,000 people,"  he admitted.

And there's more.

Lt. Colonel Bud Mahan is in charge of putting on the air show at Maxwell next week, March 27th, the first air show in four years! The air show comes on the heels of a 100th anniversary. The Wright brothers opened their first civilian flying school in Montgomery 100 years ago this week.

"The Thunderbirds will be our headliner, but we'll also have vintage planes coming in," said Mahan.

Add it all up and you're talking about a dizzying amount of people coming to town.

"Somewhere between 114,000 and 120,000 people will be here," said Hathcock.

Collectively, they're expected to shell out around $3 million on food, parking and hotel rooms. The city could easily count on a few hundred thousand dollars in sales tax revenues.

Five big events in five days. No one could be more pleased than Dave Cameron. He sells hotdogs right in the heart of downtown Montgomery.

"This will double my business," he said with a smile.

No matter how you slice it, fun and games are headed to the capital city.

When the whirlwind week is over, Alabama's capital city can set its eyes on the next big economic prize. On April 12 Hyundai will have its first annual meeting in town with 1,200 dealers from across the country.

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