Conventions in Waco benefiting local economy - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Conventions in Waco benefiting local economy

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

The Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association Annual Conference is being held in Waco for a fourth time in 25 years.

The medium-sized convention is expected to draw 300 attendees from police departments or citizen police academies from across the state.

According to the Director of Marketing for the Waco Convention and Visitor's Bureau Carla Pendergraft, these type of conventions are beneficial for tourism.

"When we go to another town, we eat at their restaurants. We go out shopping and we get to know that town a little bit. I think that's what's really valuable about a convention. It shows Waco off to the rest of the state," Pendergraft said.

She said Waco hotels are full 70 percent of the time in part because of these type of conventions.

"Right now Waco is in the top 5 in hotel occupancy in the state of Texas and it's due to conventions like this and also all the tourists visiting,' Pendergraft said.

The Waco Convention Center hosts 17 city-wide conventions and 85 smaller conventions every year.

 Waco Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association President Terry Williams said Waco is the city that has held the conference the most times. 

"It shows our hospitality here. We have a very good location. We have good facilities. It brings people together to share ideas."Williams said.

During the convention, members of different academies have the chance to network.

"The biggest part is sharing ideas and coming up with new ideas, learning something about policing and what they're doing in different areas and learning how you can help your community," Williams said.

The central location of Waco is also a reason that the city has hosted the convention several times.

"Being in a Central location, your travel times are a lot less. Waco is a good place to come," State of Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association Dave Miller said.

Miller said he usually comes to Waco two days before.

"We try and get out in the neighborhoods. Out in the different areas. Do tourism things," Miller said. "It's a relaxing time for my wife and I."

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