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Gen Con expected to bring a $70 million economic impact to Central Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Gen Con’s 50th Anniversary convention is a complete sell out in downtown Indianapolis this weekend and city leaders estimate the event will bring a $70 million economic impact to the region.

“It’s the largest convention we’ve hosted year in and year out and this year will be blockbuster,” Visit Indy Senior Vice President Chris Gahl said. “It’s been fun to see their physical footprint grow and it’s been fun to grow with them as we’ve seen new hotels, a convention center and stadiums.”

Gen Con first came to Indianapolis in 2003 and brought about 20,000 people to the city and had about a $27 million economic impact.

In 2017, Gahl estimates the event will bring more than 60,000 people to Indy and he says every single state, Canadian Province and more than 60 countries are represented.

“It’s incredible. There are so many people who passionate about their particular niche area of gaming and you can find everything here,” Gen Con attendee Nikolai Hlebowitsh, who’s visiting from Washington D.C., said.

Hlebowitsh added that Indianapolis is more than able to take on the crowds.

“I mean I’ve been all over the country,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a place that is so well built to house this many people in such a small location.”

Local businesses are enjoying the convention as well.

Bee Coffee Roasters President BJ Davis said the shop plans to stay open 24 hours this weekend to keep up with demand.

“We love Gen Con,” Davis said. “This group likes coffee more than any other group we see.”

Davis added the coffee shop expects to have about 25 percent of its annual sales this weekend.

If you’re still looking to play games this weekend even though the event is sold out, Gahl said there are more than 16,000 other gaming activities happening around Indianapolis this weekend.