TROY, AL (WSFA) - With hard economic times never before has a Troy University football home game meant so much to businessman Robert Jones, the owner of Crowe's Chicken.
"It's a shot in the arm for all of us," said Jones.
Across the spectrum, it's the same kind of story for the hotel business. Megan Perry is the second in change at Courtyard Marriott.
"We're booked tonight and tomorrow night," said Perry.
Back in Jones' kitchen at Crowe's, he estimates when Troy plays at home the chicken business sizzles even more, up at least 15%, a significant boost considering a national economy that can't seem to decide if it wants to go forward or backwards. In fact, WSFA 12 News has learned a hotel chain has decided to hold off building a new hotel until the economy improves.
So for now more and more businesses are counting on home-grown, non-holiday events to carry them through the rough spots. Remember, the population in Troy swells by 15 to 20,000 when the Trojans play at home.
Marsha Gaylard is the President of the Pike County Economic Development Office.
"Troy home football games are big here and they get bigger every year," Gaylard said.
You also have to factor in the tailgaters. They haven't arrived but they're on the way. Hundreds of people will cover the tailgating terrace next to Movie Gallery Stadium on Saturday, and that could potentially mean more business for people like Robert Jones.
"It's usually people coming back into town for the games," said Jones.
"We really do well at homecoming," said Perry.
It's anyone's guess just what the economy will do but one thing is certain; Troy has 5 home games this fall, 5 weekends for Robert Jones and Megan Perry to win over even more customers.