Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Business in downtown Montgomery is booming again


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Business is booming again in downtown Montgomery. Like most cities, the Capital saw a decline in large-scale gatherings during the pandemic.

Still, back-to-back events are filling the city’s calendar in the coming weeks, good news for the city’s tax base and downtown businesses.

More people are choosing to eat, shop and stay in Montgomery.

“We’re extremely busy right now, which is really good,” said Ron Simmons with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, who says it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

Later this month 4,000 people are expected in Montgomery for an Air Force Technology Conference. It is expected to have an economic impact of more than $7 million.

“We’re going to see some big conferences that are here. Several sporting events to come, and of course, it’s always football season. So that helps,” Simmons said.

People come from the local area and all over the country to downtown Montgomery. Last weekend Buckmaster brought in about 20,000 people. And Montgomery’s biggest party, the Hog Days of Summer Barbecue and Music Festival is expected to fill the train shed this weekend.

“We’re a group of lifelong friends who grew up in Montgomery,” explained Stuart Franco. “We all grew up going to Jubilee Cityfest and enjoying good music downtown and we wanted to bring something like that back.”

Football is also back. Tas Cramton will host this Saturday’s FCS Kickoff game.

“It’s going to be on, it’s going to be in every sports bar in the United States, it’s going to have this game on Saturday at 2:30, from Seattle to Palm Beach. So just think about the reach we have,” said Johnny Williams.

And the chamber hopes that some kind of exposure will make people not only want to visit, but want to work here and play here, “and we’re advertising throughout the region to get people here to Montgomery,” Simmons said.

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