MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The annual COGIC convention returns to Memphis next week for the first time in more than a decade, and leaders expect more than 20,000 people in town.
For downtown businesses and COGIC leaders, it’s a homecoming they’ve been waiting for.
“I was over the moon. They usually bring a lot of good business to town. It’s great when you know there are a lot of people coming. So you can recruit staff and prepare for them to make pretty easy stuff,” said Larry Crawford, an employee of the Blues City Café on Beale Street.
It’s been 11 years since the convention was held in Memphis, and the Downtown Memphis Commission said the biggest changes are the more than 4,500 hotel rooms available and 178 restaurants to choose from.
Bishop David Hall, pastor of the Temple of God in Christ Church in South Lauderdale, said it will be the economic boost the city needs.
“We are part of this city. There is a collaboration between us. We grew up with Memphis. Memphis grew with the church,” Hall said.
Hall said Memphis is COGIC’s headquarters and the city has made progress in getting more hotel rooms and central convention space over the past decade.
“Memphis worked on the situation. An increase in hotel rooms, the capacity to accommodate us now is better. In the near future, it’s going to be even better,” Hall said.
The convention starts on Tuesday, November 8 and lasts until the 14.
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