Convention Brings in Millions for Luzerne County Economy

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. --  Thousands of people are in Luzerne County for an annual Jehovah's Witness convention.

Luzerne County's visitor's bureau says conventions like this are good for the economy.

Cars pack the parking lot at Mohegan Sun Arena; the inside is packed, too.

About 5,000 people will be in Luzerne County this weekend for the "Be Courageous" 2018 convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Participants say they look forward to it every year.

"It just gives you this boost at the end of the year and also at the end of the convention, at the end of the third day, you feel like you don't want to go home," Luis Gonzalez from Stroudsburg said.

The convention is held over the course of a weekend.

The event has been held at the Mohegan sun Arena for more than a decade.

Luzerne county's visitor's bureau says that this convention brings in about $3 million over the course of the weekend.

Visit Luzerne County employees say guests to our area who eat at local restaurants and stay in hotels contribute to the nearly $1 billion the county makes in tourism revenue.

"We're very blessed to have this piece of business come into Luzerne County. It has a great economic impact to our whole community, not just our hotels, restaurants, but shopping, our gas stations," said sales and marketing director Donna Keyes.

Newswatch 16 spoke to this family from Stroudsburg who decided to stay at a hotel in the area.

"We always went back and forth and with our children, it becomes to be a lot, you know, so we said this year we're going to the experience of staying here and being amongst the brothers and sisters who are staying," Sasha Strickland said.

Convention organizers say the arena is a perfect place to host the event because it can hold so many people. They are happy to come back to the area each year.

"We feel we bring a nice sense of peace to the area and we feel we get that same sense back, so we enjoy it," said organizer Brian young.

The convention continues at the Mohegan Sun Arena through Sunday.