Businesses prepare for FFA Convention attendees, the boom they bring


by WHAS11

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 6:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- They're easy to recognize.

“You're going to see a sea of blue. It’s going to be a corduroy blue which is the FFA color,” Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau President Jim Wood said.

The National Future Farmers of America Convention is in town, and they're not just visible. Their presence is profitable.

“This year the National FFA Convention will have a $40 million economic impact on Louisville and the surrounding counties,” Wood said.
Louisville last hosted it in 2005, but the FFA has grown.

“It's bigger; it's better than ever. We expect to have a terrific convention. In fact we will probably set a record attendance at this convention,” National FFA Organization Director of Strategic Communications Bill Stagg.

“All the way from Sellersburg, down to Elizabethtown all the way to Lexington virtually every hotel in the community is sold out for the remainder of the week,” Wood said.

The Kentucky Derby Museum is expecting 7,000 visitors on Friday alone. The museum is on track to do way more business than they do Derby week. The restaurants are going blue too.

“When you unleash 60,000 hungry students in this community, they're going to be hitting every restaurant around this region,” Wood said.
Bearno’s By the Bridge is expecting a big buffet line tonight. FFA is here and there's a UofL exhibition game at the KFC Yum! Center

We have a group of at least 50 FFA students coming in tonight before the game and they'll get to mix in with our regular arena crowd,” Bearno’s By the Bridge owner George Timmering said.

Bearno's and the other businesses not complaining; they’re just preparing.

“We remain flexible; we expand our hours and we expand staff,” Timmering said. 

Kentuckiana is making room for these focused students.

These are the future leaders and these are the people that will solve problems tomorrow,” Stagg said.

Louisville will host the convention nine of the next fifteen years. The city is on a three year rotation with Indianapolis.