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Economic impact enormous for city

Gene Forrester tried something a little different this year.

The Holiday Inn Express manager decided he wouldn’t book all of his rooms early for the expected onslaught of visitors this week.

A lot of times, those expectant visitors never arrived, leaving Demopolis’ newest hotel vacant in some rooms.

But make no mistake about it, Holiday Inn has sold out all of its rooms &045;&045; priced at $79 a night. And most other hotels have done the same.

Debbie Hamilton, who works at Winwood Inn, said she does have a few rooms still available.

Hamilton said this weekend will rival only two others in terms of hotel occupancy. In September, rooms sell out quickly for the Footwash Festival in Uniontown. And on July 4th, most rooms in town sell out.

Hotels aren’t the only places that will economically benefit from the Christmas on the River festivities.

Financially speaking, this is the best week for the city of Demopolis. Leverett, who didn’t have immediate access to a study, said a report from 1997 indicated this is always an enormous week for this community.

Leverett also said the event is published in newspapers across the state and is included in the Alabama official event schedule.

But people also find their way to Demopolis in awkward ways.

Last year, a couple from Oregon traveled through Demopolis and stopped at Foscue Park.

In all, people from Alabama and the entire Southeast &045;&045; maybe even some people from the Pacific Northwest &045;&045; will again visit this year’s Demopolis extravaganza.