During the next several days, more than fifty-five thousand visitors will step up to the main registration desk at America’s Center. After they pick up their convention credentials and schedules, they will likely head out to the City’s restaurants and stores, entertainment venues, parks, and cultural institutions. They’ll probably take in a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium and they might walk up to Ellen Curlee’s nifty art gallery on Washington Avenue, stop at Bob Ray’s Washington Avenue Post barbecue stand for a burger, or visit Bob Cassilly’s City Museum to gawk. Adventuresome people will end up at the Shangri-La diner on Cherokee Street, at The Royale on S. Kingshighway, at Crown Candy in Old North St. Louis, or the Atomic Cowboy in the Grove.
Assuming good weather, these visitors will leave behind more than $10 million when they go back home. That, of course, is why we have a convention center — and a full-time team to market St. Louis as a friendly destination.
I am glad they’re here.