The numbers are in and it’s official: Pensacon has quickly turned into a multi-million dollar piece of the local economy.

In a conversation a few weeks before the event, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said whenever 30,000 people descend on your city it's pretty powerful. Now that the weekend has passed and the economic impact of the convention has been tallied, officials are seeing just how powerful Pensacon has become in only two years.  

There was a nice cheer from the crowd that was left at the Pensacola Bay Center late Sunday afternoon, as the Mike Ensley, the chairman of Pensacon announced the dates and the first confirmed guests for next year’s edition of the fan convention. 

Ensley says the fan convention will return next year on February 19 through the 21 to the Pensacola Bay Center, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and, hopefully, The Saenger Theater. The first announced guests are Peter Mayhew and David Prowse, who play Chewbacca the Wookie and Darth Vader on Star Wars.

After “Star Trek the Next Generation” had been off the air for over a year and “Deep Space Nine” was in the middle of its run, the powers that be at Paramount wanted another Trek show that was set on astarship. That show was called “Star Trek – Voyager” and debuted in January of 1995. Actor Garrett Wang played Ensign Harry Kim for all seven season of the show. Wang was in Pensacola this weekend for Pensacon.

There is so much to do and see at Pensacon that you may have passed by one room on your way to something else.  If so, you missed a lot

If you became a fan of pro wrestling in the late 1980s you know the name Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

He joined what was then called the WWF in 1987 and two years later rose to become the federation’s champion. In 2011 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He still has fun interacting with fans.

He finds it reassuring that the WWE is bringing back their classic performers and honoring them. Duggan says it's "opened them up to a whole new generation of kids, and after 35 years in wrestling it's nice to be remembered".

Pensacon has brought a lot of famous faces to Pensacola this weekend. One of those faces belongs to veteran character actor Carel Struycken, whose face and size have kept him on the big and small screen for years.

Steven L. Sears

You’ve heard this about other people, but Kevin J Anderson really seems to be the hardest working man in show biz. He has published over 120 science fiction books including many bestselling Star Wars novels. Anderson will be appearing at Pensacon this weekend, including a panel called Spotlight on Kevin J Anderson Friday afternoon at 3:30 at the Bay Center.

Pensacon 2015 Takes Off This Weekend

Feb 25, 2015

After months of planning, Pensacon 2015 is ready to go this weekend.

"We just want to take over Pensacola" said Mike Ensley, the Founder and Chairman of Pensacon. Although he’s thinking big, Mike Ensley is surprisingly calm. This is the second year of the three day convention for fans of science fiction, comic books, video games, costuming or cosplaying, tv, movies, books and anything else where imagination and fun are the most important elements. "Everybody's flights are booked, people's hotel rooms are booked, they're excited to be here".

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses his recent economic column, in which he details how sales data reflect seasonal ebb and flow of tourist traffic.

“That’s an important issue for Florida,” said Harper. He notes that the central and southern portions of the state, such as Miami, Naples, Sarasota and Punta Gorda, tend to attract their highest level of visitor traffic in the January through March/April time period.

Pensacola Intergalactic Airport

Pensacon 2015 is four weeks away and the City of Pensacola is already getting into the spirit.  Thursday morning at Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward stood at a podium alongside Councilman at Large Charles Bare, Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley, as well as Darth Vader, and issued a proclamation that officially changed the name of Pensacola International Airport to Pensacola Intergalactic Airport.