DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – President Donald Trump will officially headline the National Rifle Association’s 147th annual convention in Dallas. The event starts on Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, but the President and Vice President Mike Pence do not arrive in town until Friday.
Signs and security barricades are still being set up as Dallas gets ready to welcome 80,000 people to the convention, as well as thousands of protesters who plan to make sure that the national gun debate takes center stage. At least three planned protests are already scheduled so far.
The Dallas Police Department will be unveiling their safety plan on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, with so many visitors packing into Dallas this weekend, local businesses are hoping to cash in on the convention, which is expected to bring $42 million in revenue to the city. Restaurants are expected to be twice as full as usual, and 22,000 hotel rooms are already booked.
“I would say a good weekend for us without a convention would be 100-200 dinners,” said Demetrius Anagnostis, the general manager of Dallas Chop House. “We might see 250-300. You staff the restaurant and you order more product. The last thing you want is to have someone come in and you are out of steak.”
Likewise, the workers at Wild Bill’s Western Store said that they are ordering as much inventory as they possible can in hopes of a big weekend. “The NRA is going to be a very exciting and fruitful convention coming to town,” explained Bruce Bean. “We had to stock up quite a bit. We are receiving merchandise in daily.”