Thousands of students expected in Savannah for National Beta Club Convention

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The city of Savannah is preparing to host one of the largest conventions in the city's history.

Participants of the National Beta Club Convention will begin arriving on Tuesday, June 12.

Over the next two weeks, the Hostess City will see over 20,000 students. Tourism officials are expecting the convention to have a major economic impact on the city.

Those with Visit Savannah say area businesses need to make sure they are well stocked due to this uptick in business. They predict this convention will bring in around $14 million within the next 14-days.

The National Beta Club Convention is a scholastic competition. Students from around the country have won competitions in their home states and earned the opportunity to travel to Savannah to compete on a national level.

The convention is being split into two groups: juniors and seniors. The junior group will consist of around 12,000 students from grades fourth through eighth. They'll be in town June 12-16.

The second group is the senior division. This group will include around 8,000 students. They'll be in town June 16-20.

Tourism officials say the students will utilize 36 hotels in five different areas: the Historic District, Midtown, Southside, Tybee Island, and Pooler. They say event though this will mean some areas will be more congested than usual, this is an exciting opportunity for the city to attract such a large crowd.

"Well, we've been working with the State Beta Club and we've been hosting their junior and senior competitions for just a little over a year. We've done a great job for them and they thought this would be a wonderful location for their national competition," said Jeff Hewitt, Senior VP, CDME.

All of the competitions relating to the National Beta Club will take place at Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island. However, there are no planned meals for the students, which means they'll be coming over to the downtown area for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tourism officials are asking businesses to make sure they have kid friendly options and that they are staffed accordingly in order to accommodate these students, as well as other visitors.

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