Jehovah's Witnesses Convention Is A Boost To Tri-City Economy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Jehovah's Witnesses Convention Is A Boost To Tri-City Economy

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- July 4th marks the beginning of one of six of conventions for thousands of Jehovah's witnesses in the Northwest.

"There's typically about 5 to 6,000 people each day, that's 4 days a week, 6 weeks out of the year," said Ben Bolander, Event Manager at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

A yearly event bringing millions of dollars to the Tri-City's economy.

"The convention bureau estimated that this is a $15 million impact for the Summer for the Tri-Cities," said Doug Hardy, a Spokesman for the Convention.

Event staff say 48 congregations will come together at the Toyota Center this year. With many people coming from Northwest Oregon and Idaho.

"The Tri-Cities is very nice, the people are very friendly, the businesses are happy to have us here," said Philip Burling, a Jehovah's Witness.

On Friday morning event organizers say there were about 4,800 people at the Toyota Center, they will be having conventions in Spanish as well, and they expect attendance to be just as high.

"The city welcomes us the facilities are good, it's good to get in and out of, the facility is the right size," said Hardy.

While staff at the Toyota Center say.

"I think they keep coming to the Tri-Cities because of everything we have to offer, the hotels the restaurants," said Bolander.

And some other retail benefits.

"When we come we also shop here because where we come from is a small town so we like to shop and enjoy the city," said Burling.