So Pensacon 2014 is behind us with the upper limits of organizers' predictions being reached, the Pensacola Bay Center floor reaching capacity several times Saturday, and downtown nightlife establishments reporting a busy weekend.
Later this week Visit Pensacola, who collected data during the convention, will have hard numbers to put on this impact but as the memories of Pensacon start to fade I chatted with Manda Manning, part of the Pensacon team, about the challenges and successes of the weekend and what we can look forward to next year.
If you see Jerrod Vunovich on TV, chances are he won't look anything like his picture here. That picture was taken this weekend at Pensacon where Jerrod sat on a panel with other actors from the AMC series The Walking Dead. Vunovich has a recurring role as one of the zombies, or walkers on the show.
The 6' 3" actor from Pensacola says he got on the show by answering an internet casting call looking for actors who were "deathly skinny". He was contacted the next day and invited to attend AMC's "Zombie School" which led to being cast as a recurring role as a walker.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the economics of the inaugural Pensacon convention. Organizers projected between 5,000 and 10,000 people would attend the event, which quickly filled the Crown Plaza Hotel and Pensacola Bay Center. “It is big, and it’s rare that in February you have a downtown hotel reporting that it’s fully booked,” Harper says.
To further make the point on the significance of the event during the “winter visitation trough,” he says that there are just a few big weekends during the height of the tourist season that beach hotels fill up.