Methodist Conference Returning to Athens
The convention pumps more than $2 million into local economy.
They come to town in June, they enjoy Athens and they spend money having fun and doing good. Just as AthFest boosts the local economy during the slower summer months, so do the Methodists, to the tune of $2.2 million.
Close to 3,000 members of the North Georgia United Methodist Conference will meet at the Classic Center on June 12-14 for the annual conference session.
They will worship, pray and conduct the business of The United Methodist Church during their stay. And when they're not doing these things, they will eat meals, go shopping and generally enjoy downtown and other Athens resources.
This will be the 13th time in the past 14 years that the Methodists have held their annual conference at the Classic Center. Last year, the group voted to return to Athens through 2015.
Classic Center officials cited the large conference as a good reason for the ACC Commission to vote to expand the Classic Center last year. Which they did.
“We are excited to be coming back to Athens again this year,” said Tim McDaniel, communications director for the North Georgia Conference. “The hospitality that the Athens community extends to us during our stay is wonderful. It has been interesting to see the relationships that have grown over the years between business owners and conference attendees. We are lucky to be able to call Athens ‘home’ for three days again this year.”
The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact of the Methodist conference to be $2,206,400 in direct spending.
Attendees will participate in the sixth annual North Georgia Conference 5K Run/Walk on June 13 at 6:30 a.m. All race proceeds will benefit the North Georgia Conference's Housing & Homeless Council.
Plus, a Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at The Classic Center during the conference.