Mayor Strange discusses impact of EJI museum & memorial

Mayor Strange discusses impact of EJI museum & memorial
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange discusses impact of EJI museum and memorial.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - At Tuesday evening's city council meeting, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange spoke about the impact the Equal Justice Initiative museum and memorial had.

"This was a really good weekend. The whole week last week was good," said Strange.

While he said exact numbers could be gauged in another month or so, he said it's estimated that 25-30,000 people traveled through the city between Monday and Saturday. More than the economic impact, Strange said it was the overall experience that people got after leaving the museum and memorial.

"The economic impact will be large but more importantly, it speaks volumes about Montgomery recognizing something that frankly has not been well publicized in the history books. You don't see a lot of this, so we've come face-to-face," said Strange. "I've heard people talk about, 'Holy Ground,' whether it be the museum or whether it be the memorial. Hopefully, that brings some healing, brings some closure to those families and certainly it brings unity so that Montgomery can move forward and be the best that Montgomery can be."

There's also another part as those that came into Montgomery from out of town, or from the area return and share their experience.

"Those 25,000 or so that were here become great ambassadors for the city of Montgomery.," Mayor Strange said.

At the meeting, the mayor pointed out some slides on a presentation that showed how many people actually mentioned "Montgomery" or the museum and memorial throughout the weekend, not just from people that actually visited but from media that had coverage of the event in general.

"We've heard it from all over the world," the mayor said.

Strange said it's estimated that around 7,000 tourists came in on Thursday and another 8,500 Friday.

"They flew in, they drove in, they came by buses, they came by all means," he said.

As far as the economic impact from businesses, the mayor's heard some good things even though the exact numbers have yet to be tallied.

"I've talked to businesses that said they had the best week they've ever had."

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