CORNELIUS, N.C. – With the Democratic National Convention less than a year away dozens of local business owners from the Lake Norman Area met Wednesday to brainstorm ways to fully capitalize on the event.
Looking out over the quiet waters of Lake Norman, charter boat captain Gus Gustafson can't help but think of the possibilities for his business one year from now.
"I suspect it will generate at minimum a 50, 60, 75 percent increase over what we've been doing in the past," he said.
Gustafson was one of dozens of local business owners who gathered Wednesday morning at the Peninsula Yacht Club to discuss the best ways to capitalize on the opportunities trickling their way from the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
"It can be outstanding but just remember it's a one time event,” said Doug Stafford with Griffin Stafford Hospitality. “So you need to take advantage of it as best you can.”
While the establishments represented at the meeting are far from Uptown, tourism officials say more than 10,000 local hotel rooms have already been contracted out to the DNC. That means a wide variety of businesses could see big profits that week if they put in the leg work now.
"All of those companies stand to benefit if they go about leveraging their business with the right people who are involved in the convention," added Stafford.
Convention officials say owners should register their business on the official DNC vendor directory.
The online form will allow companies to secure contracts with the convention, for a wide variety of jobs.
The organization “Visit Lake Norman” says it is still too early to predict the economic impact the convention could have on the area.