It is a relationship that has stood the test of time going on 21 years.
The couple? The City of Rochester and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Recently, the Jehovah’s Witness religious group signed up for another round of meetings in the summer and fall at Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center.
It will hold seven meetings with the four district meetings in the summer expected to attract 6,000 people to each, while the three fall circuit meetings are forecast to have 1,250 to 950 attending each.
For the city, the relationship is a profitably one.
Each of those four 6,000 person district meetings bring in an estimated $1.18 million economic impact, says the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau. The three circuit meetings in the fall are expected to bring in $209,000, $107,000 and $144,900 respectively.
So by the Rochester convention bureau’s estimation, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ meetings will bring a financial boost of biblical proportions to Rochester - $5.46 million.
The crowds of well-dressed families and individuals walking around downtown is a familiar sight to anyone that has lived in Rochester long.
But why do they keep coming back?
“ Rochester is a clean, safe, attractive city with skywalks and many beautiful hotels. The people are exceptionally friendly,” says David Kennedy, news director of the Minnesota Circuit 6 of Jehovah's Witnesses. “We enjoy coming to Rochester because city and convention and visitors' bureau officials are exceptionally cooperative. So are the folks at the Mayo Civic Center.”