Friday, nearly 5,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses filled the Tucson Convention Center.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The organization reports worldwide membership of over 7.78 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual Memorial attendance of over 19 million.
Most of them visiting from congregations around Arizona and parts of New Mexico.
This is one of seven conventions this summer.
Tourism in Tucson is slow during the summer, but there’s a group of people that are keeping the economy alive.
In fact, right now thousands of people are here in town for the annual Jehovah’s Witness convention.
These conventions bring in big money to our economy.
Throughout the course of the weekend, about 6,000 people are expected downtown.
In fact, this year they added an extra weekend to keep up with the growing religion.
As you can imagine, this event brings in big money to the Tucson economy, especially during the summer when it’s slow and school is out.
According to the Tucson Visitor’s Convention Bureau, each event represents about 6,700 people and 4,500 hotel room nights.
That doesn’t include the money the city gets from retail shopping and restaurants.
Tucson News Now spoke to the director for sales from the Hampton Inn and she says these events are very important.
“We thought we were going to lose them for 2014. So the fact that we are not is excellent. We kind of thought, ‘Oh no what are we going to do?’ Its base business and I think anywhere you are you need base business, because otherwise you have those months with basically nothing.”
The event continues through the weekend at the Tucson Convention Center.
The assembly is open to the public.