Homecoming makes impact on Troy

Published 6:34 pm Friday, October 23, 2009


Troy University Homecoming is a time for many to come back and enjoy some good, old-fashioned football.

But, frankly, it’s also a time for the city of Troy to make a profit.

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“It’s a wonderful time for folks to spend money,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Jenniffer Barner said all the hotels in the city are filled, something that typically happens each year.

“Generally the local hotels fill up on football weekends and especially weekends like Homecoming,” Barner said.

Troy’s new Courtyard Marriott is no exception.

“We are booked completely solid 100 percent,” said Jarid Crowell, manager at the new hotel.

Businesses hoped to get the best out of their amenities for the weekend as well.

“We’ve got a fire pit out back and a 70 inch TV screen to watch the games on,” Crowell said.

Lunsford said while there’s no way to track just how big of an impact Homecoming weekends typically generate in sales tax revenues, he has no doubt it makes a big dent.

“Homecoming really does mean a lot to the community,” Lunsford said. “That’s why we go out of our way to make sure we really clean up the city.”

Sales tax reports are given in periods, not specific days, which is why Homecoming sales can’t be tracked exactly.

Barner said usually restaurants and gas stations are the types of businesses who benefit the most from Homecoming sales.

“Typically, when the county is full of visitors, the businesses — mostly restaurants, gas stations and hotels — are the ones who see the most traffic,” Barner said.

But, that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t work to promote the other local businesses that are such a special part of Troy.

“Of course we try and make visitors aware of our shopping areas and attractions and hope that they benefit also,” Barner said.

“We’re getting ready, and we are supporting our Trojans” said Cathy Taylor, manager at Byrd Drug.

Lunsford said after retail stores have been taking big hits this year, it is weekend’s like this that boost morale.

“I think it helps,” Lunsford said. “People do spend a lot of money and hopefully shop while they’re here.”