DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With President Donald Trump’s address to the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum Friday and planned protests, the debate over gun restrictions will take center stage in Dallas.
Some 80,000 NRA members are expected to attend the event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.
In addition to the President, Vice-President Mike Pence, Governor Greg Abbott, and Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz will also address the conference.
While convention-goers and protestors disagree on gun restrictions, one thing they do have in common while they are here: they will eat at restaurants and many will shop, too.
Bruce Bean, manager at Wild Bill’s Western Store in Dallas’ West End said, “The NRA is going to be very exciting and fruitful convention coming to town.”
This week, employees are ready for their second busy weekend in a row and are preparing for the NRA Convention.
“We have to stock up quite a bit. The Forever Living convention brought our inventory levels down, but we’re receiving merchandise daily and we do daily anyway,” said Bean. “But yeah, we’re getting it back up so to have plenty of merchandise for them to come in and enjoy.”
At the Wild Salsa in downtown Dallas, they’re expecting to pack in the crowds this weekend as well.
This restaurant, along with Dallas Chop House are among four in a two block radius owned by DRG Concepts.
Demetrius Anagnostis, General Manager of the Dallas Chop House said, “I would say a good weekend for us without a convention would be 150-200 dinners. We might say 250-300 this week with the convention in town.”
As a result, the General Manager there says they, too are gearing up.
Staff the restaurant and you order more product. The last thing you want to do is have someone come in and you’re out of steak,” said Anagnostis.
All told, Visit Dallas estimates the NRA Convention will bring-in 22,000 hotel room nights and produce $24 million in direct sales — with an overall economic impact of more than $42 million.
That supports nearly 7,000 jobs.
“Good for the area, good for the city, definitely good for the businesses,” said Anagnostis.