Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The convention and trade center in Columbus, Georgia, will see an economic impact of $6 million by mid-year

By meerna Jun12,2024

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Dozens of Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia Teen contestants are preparing for the big scholarship competition on Saturday this week.

The Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant is part of the Miss America organization and one of America’s most recognizable brands that works to empower young women through education and service.

The competition began on Tuesday evening, when the participants had private conversations with the judges.
Preliminary rounds will be held throughout the week at the Columbus, Georgia Convention & Trade Center and the RiverCenter. While the scholarships awarded through this competition will help women advance academically and professionally, the competition also has a large economic impact on Columbus.

“What’s so special is that it’s not just a one-day event. This event takes place throughout the week. Prelims begin Wednesday and people, families and friends are coming out to support these girls from all cities across the state of Georgia,” Trade Center Executive Director Hayley Tillery told WRBL. “Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are qualifying rounds. And of course, Saturday is the big finals night. Every day you see thousands of people come out to support these girls and know that Columbus, Georgia is their home and something they look forward to every year.”

Georgia is one of the few states within the Miss America Organization that remains in the inaugural host city of Columbus. This year marks the 79th edition of the Annual Scholarship Competition. However, this was not the only major event that took place this year.

“We are very grateful for our recurring events like Georgia Thespians, each year over 6,000 children come and experience Columbus. But we also have some new conferences that give us a taste of Columbus,” Tillery said. “Georgia Homeland Security just concluded their event. Next week the Easter Stars will come to us. They’re actually coming this week. Next week is Georgia Royal Carriers and the list will go on. But what’s interesting is the variety of events.”

So far this year, the Trade Center’s economic impact has been $6 million, with room for further growth.

“Georgia Horror Con is coming up and there will be a great show and people will come from all over the world. We have dog shows. We also have opportunities as we work on career technical school organizations, which means let’s take Georgia Thespians and imagine this happening four or five times a year with other student organizations,” Tillery said. “Columbus, we are ready for it, and now it’s just about people here seeing it, experiencing it, and best of all, telling others. They tell others who we are and what we can produce.

Last year, the Trade Center had an economic impact of $9.5 million. Even as large-scale events join the mall, Tillery reminds residents that these hometown events will not be forgotten.

“I think this is the biggest reminder to our citizens to realize that we still exist for you too. So we are very grateful for all the community events that take place in the city. We will not put pressure on our citizens who organize similar events year after year,” Tillery said. “We are very excited about events like the Phenix City Mayor’s Ball, and Davis Broadcasting hosts its women’s events every March. These are the events that made us who we are and we will not take into account that these events are still unique; and the reason we also exist here at the Trade Center is to provide citizens with the opportunity to host events where they can make history. It’s also something we will never forget.”

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