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Arts & Culture

Downtown San Diego Businesses Gear Up For Comic-Con

Businesses Gear Up For Comic Con San Diego

Downtown San Diego is gearing up for Comic-Con 2015. With more than two weeks left until the popular arts festival, businesses are getting ready for a big year.

Even with Sony, Marvel and Paramount sitting out this year's Comic-Con, some say the festival is back to its pre-recession numbers. In 2014, the San Diego Workforce Partnership estimated the convention brought upwards of $180 million to San Diego’s economy.

Rena Kay from the Hard Rock Hotel said she expects to do even better this year.

“In the last couple of years it’s returned to its full glory after the economy was suffering a little bit,” Kay said.

Comic-Con generates $320,000 in wages at San Diego’s Convention Center alone, according to the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Employees average $13.36 an hour and work for six days, including the convention’s run.

Businesses don’t have to be in the hospitality industry to profit from Comic-Con. Joven Sibug owns downtown San Diego’s only bike messenger company, Courier Collective. Sibug said he’s already working for Comic-Con attendees.

“A lot of people from different countries are calling us to pick up packages that they’ve sent here to take to a storage unit or to their hotel,” Sibug said.

Looking ahead to Comic Con, Sibug said business is only going to get better and he’ll need to hire more riders.

“We’re going to have to beef up our staff, because the more people that are here, the more people are going to need flowers delivered to their Princess Leia,” Sibug said.

Preparing for the country’s largest pop culture festival is a major undertaking. Kay said the Hard Rock Hotel started getting ready for this year’s Comic-Con on the Monday after last year’s.

“We really start planning for Comic-Con a year out,” Kay said. “We go through the big parade of Comic-Con and then we come into the office the next week and we start planning for next year.”