Jul 21, 2015
By Joanne Beck firstname.lastname@example.org
BATAVIA â While Bill Hume and his helpers map out a huge three-day convention, theyâre not just thinking about HumeâsÂ bottom line.
Thereâs also the local commerce. Drawing an expected 5,000 or more people to Humeâs Foxprowl-Con this fall is bound to have a residual effect.
âWe want to use this as a catalyst for getting a convention center. We want to do it local,â fellow organizer Tim Schiefer said. âWe want people with local businesses to reach out to us ... the whole point is to stimulate business.â
By having at least 125 vendors, celebrities and workshops proven to attract people elsewhere, Hume and Schiefer hope to have a similar experience here. In turn, those visitors may book a hotel, eat at restaurants and shop the cityâs merchants. In other words, âtheyâre going to be spending money,â Hume said.
Kelly Rapone of Genesee County Chamber of Commerce said that itâs difficult to gauge numbers with a first-time event such as this. Using conservative estimates, she thinks that $18,000 for 200 one-night room reservations is realistic. Thatâs plus food and âincidental spendingâ for another $200,000 per day.
At a more moderate number of 3,500 attendees, that could mean $320,000 for the two days, including $25,000 in sales tax and $1,200 in bed tax.
Restaurants always do better than other type businesses with these events, she said. Thatâs not to say that visitors wouldnât take a special trip to Oliverâs, get gas here or shop for other retail items.
The Chamber will be helping to promote overnight stays and staff looks forward to the convention, Rapone said.
âWeâre excited,â she said. âAny time someoneâs trying to generate business for the county and for the city ... we will do anything we can to support it.â
Hume hopes that other places will jump on board to offer specials during the big event. Itâs Nov. 20 to 22 and is to bring people from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and Pennsylvania.
When those droves of people pour out of the Clarion Hotel at the end of each dayâs pop culture fest, theyâre going to be doing a different type of prowl, Hume said.
âTheyâre going to want to eat, theyâre going to want to watch a movie, theyâre going to want to socialize,â he said.
Perhaps a local restaurant could offer a special along with the chance that former wrestler Bryan Clark will show up. Or someone could organize a shuttle to take visitors from their hotels to downtown for a movie or dinner. Those are some of his thoughts so far. His team wants to do as much local advertising and sponsorships as possible.
âItâs a cool event,â Hume said. âItâs home grown.â