Jehovah’s Witness Conventions Boosting Reading/Berks Economy

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have since 2005 spent several quiet weekends each summer at conventions in the Sovereign Center, without any of the fanfare given the concert idols and hockey giants normally associated with a sports/entertainment complex.

As a result, they are responsible for half the downtown civic center’s $254 million economic impact over its first decade.

That’s the surprise coming out of a study released last week by Dr. Lolita A. Paff, associate professor of business and economics at Penn State Berks.

The 225,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses who spent three days each at the conventions also spent nearly $111 million on gasoline, hotels (1,200 rooms a night), shopping and meals outside the arena from 2005 through 2011, Paff’s report said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=415098

$254 Million Economic Impact From 2 Reading Venues, Study Finds

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Berks County received more than $254 million in direct economic impact from the Sovereign Center and Sovereign Performing Arts Center since those facilities opened in 2001, according to an independent study released Wednesday.

The figure represents the total that the arena, the theater and their 4.5 million visitors spent in Berks, said Dr. Lolita A. Paff, a Penn State Berks associate professor of business and economics.

The Berks County Convention Center Authority, which runs the facilities, paid $2,500 for the study.

The authority hopes it will help with marketing, grants and sponsorship of the facilities, and solidify their importance in the community, said Zane Collings, general manger.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412850