COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The 2022 Georgia Thespian Conference taking place in Columbus has increased downtown crowd traffic and also positively impacted the local economy.

Close to 5,000 students, teachers, and Thespians have flooded the streets of Columbus for the annual Thescon taking place at Columbus State University.

“We’ve started seeing them coming in yesterday by the busloads,” said Kristen Granberry the Owner of Veri Best Donuts.

With over a two hour lunch break, it allows students the ability to explore shops and restaurants up and down Broadway. Theater students tell News 3 they have spent money over the course of event throughout town.

Lines out the door could be seen at both Iron Bank and Fountain City Coffee, mostly filled with Thescon students. Local businesses have anticipated the crowds and have been preparing for weeks.

“Started last week I boosted up a lot of product to make sure I wouldn’t run out of product, I readjusted all of my employee’s schedules as well.”

Kristen Granberry the Owner of Veri Best Donuts.

Stores on Broadway are even staying open late to accommodate the crowds and have seen a drastic increase in their revenue.