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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Georgia World Congress Center to stay open

The Georgia World Congress Center, one of downtown's attractions hit hardest by this weekend's tornado, will accommodate two scheduled conventions as planned, the center's authorities say.

The International Window Coverings Expo, scheduled for March 26-29, and National Propane Gas Association, March 29-31, will not be canceled, and the facility will be in shape to host the events. That's $14 million in economic impact the city'll enjoy because of around-the-clock repairs by crews at the convention center.

“The collaboration of the hospitality community has saved economic impact that would have been lost," Spurgeon Richardson, president and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a release. "Had it not been for the GWCC, the hotels and so many other stakeholders in Atlanta, we would have seen business go to other cities. Instead, we are ready to roll out the welcome mat for our visitors.”

The bureau also says that only 700 of the city's 92,000 hotel rooms are closed for repair and that reshuffling of other planned activities will bring 38,000 visitors to town and reap an estimated $18 million.

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