National convention

AutoZone bringing the national convention to Memphis; first major event at the renovated Renasant Center

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Automatic zone will hold its national sales meeting at the Renasant Convention Center in downtown Memphis in September, the first full-scale meeting since the center’s $ 216 million renovation.

Approximately 3,000 AutoZone associates from across the country will come to Memphis for the event September 27-30, bringing an economic impact to the city estimated by Memphis Tourism to be nearly $ 2 million.

It is also one of the biggest events since the COVID-19 pandemic drained $ 97 billion from the U.S. trade show industry last year, Memphis Tourism said.

The event was canceled in March due to social distancing restrictions.

The downtown convention center, formerly known as the Cook Convention Center, reopened in November 2020 after a modernization project.

“We hope this is just the start of other meetings in Memphis, we want the world to know that our city and our meeting rooms are open for business,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. communicated.

Kevin Kane, president of Memphis Tourism, said the convention announcement was good news for Memphis and Shelby County. But the effects of the pandemic persist. He said some of the big hotels in town couldn’t sell all of their rooms because they didn’t have enough staff yet.

Downtown merchants have welcomed the announcement of a new convention.

Jake Schorr, owner of Westy’s restaurant in the Pinch District, said the pandemic has made business difficult, but the agreement will help Westy’s survive.

“The number of jobs it will maintain and hotel nights in downtown and Midtown and other parts of the city is remarkable,” said Schorr. “Everyone is excited, certainly in our little restaurant, to be waiting for customers.”

Farhat Othmani, owner of Qawha Cafe on Main Street, shared the enthusiasm.

“Even though I only get 25 percent from drinking coffee, I’m happy. I’m excited and the other thing is conventions are back, ”he said.

AutoZone, a Fortune 250 company, is based in Memphis.