Jehovah's Witness Convention Could Mean Millions For Coast Economy

This weekend, more than 7,000 delegates from South Louisiana and Mississippi will fill the Coast Coliseum. Next weekend, another 7,000 members will arrive for a separate Jehovah's Conference. Crews are busy setting up for the huge event.

Organizers say the gatherings will have a huge economic impact on the Coast. Convention Manager Gerald Grizzle says he expects at least $20 million will be pumped into the local economy, because there's going to be between 14,000-15,000 people here over the two weekends. Grizzle says the money will be spent at motels, restaurants, shopping centers, service stations and other businesses.

"Our hotels are predominately full with reservations from guests coming for this particular event. His hotels are at 80-85 percent occupancy with just Watchtower," Holiday Inn General Manager Skip Ledbetter said. "Then it's a sell out with the remaining rooms that are available this weekend."

The convention kicks off Friday morning, with a session on "Completely Equipped as Teachers of God's Word." The program will demonstrate how to apply the principles of God's Word in one's family, personal life and everyday situations. The program consists of discussions, skits, personal experiences and a Bible drama.