Christian convention brings business to the Queen City

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Queen City hotels and restaurants are getting a boost from some out-of-town business separate from the NASCAR Sprint Cup influx expected this week.

Wednesday the NACC, or North American Christian Convention, filled the Duke Energy Convention Center with people from all over the region and beyond.

Convention organizers say already 6,000 people are registered for the event and the numbers are growing.

"For us to have a convention on the July 4th week is a bonus for the city of Cincinnati because normally we don't have business during that time period," explained Duke Energy Convention Center General Manager Ric Booth.

The NACC has been going on since 1927 and six of those years have been spent in the Queen City.

"In terms of the area and the location and what's available here, I just can't find anything that would disappoint me," attendee from Arizona Roger Storms said.

"I love it! It's great," echoed Rachel Greene. "It's really friendly to walking around."

Rachel and her husband J.D. came all the way up from Savannah, Georgia knowing next to nothing about the city.

"I've never heard anything [about the city]," Rachel admitted. "I've heard people from Ohio, that's it," she said with a laugh.

"I'm always like 'Why? Why is this convention in Cincinnati?" her husband questioned.

"Cincinnati is right in the heart of our churches," explained the convention's managing director Larry Collins. Collins says Cincinnati is a top choice because it makes logistical sense.

"Eighty percent of our people drive in so it makes it convenient for them," he said.

Collins says they are constantly evaluating whether Cincinnati is the right fit for the event.

"I'm just looking for great services from the Convention Center," he said. "That the AV and the lights go on, that the air conditioning works."

He says they are even monitoring hotel and restaurant service downtown by surveying their attendees and they are not the only ones doing evaluations.

"We do a survey at every event and every department is rated," convention center GM Ric Booth said.

From the looks of bookings those reviews are positive. Booth says they are breaking a new record this year since new management took effect in 2006.

"2011 is our strongest year," Booth said.

Next year the NACC will be held in Orlando, Florida. Organizers says they do have plans, however, to return to Cincinnati in 2015, and 2019.

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