'Walking Dead' convention showcases Georgia's movie boom | News
ATLANTA -- "Walking Dead" fans, look alive! A convention focused on the hit television show kicks off in Atlanta this weekend. It's expected to draw 10,000 or more fans and participants. You'll see some of the shows actors and get access to some set secrets you just can't find posted on fan websites.
It's the latest business coming alive in Atlanta because of "Walking Dead."
More than 16 million people watched the season premiere this month, watching scenes filmed right here in Georgia.
For an idea just how alive the show is in our area, look no further than the "Walking Dead" tour.
Stacey Rosleck is a living, breathing example of how "The Walking Dead" delivers new life to Atlanta business.
She traveled here from Pittsburg for a three-day vacation in Georgia.
"Just for Walking Dead! You live once," she said.
She and her husband came for the zombie experience led by Atlanta Movie Tours.
"I think what made it so fantastic was not only that you got to see these really great locations that have been on the show, but to have the tour led by an actor that's been on the show" she said.
In just two years, 4,000 other undead aficionados lined up to see where the movie magic happened. The tour takes you to the hospital, the sheriff's office and the hideouts seen in the show.
On the tour you're going to see sights from the complete series, plus you'll see how a complete series can have quite a financial impact on the state of Georgia.
"The economic impact to the state of Georgia has grow exponentially," said Carrie Burns of Atlanta Movie Tours.
First, downtown businesses benefited. Hotels, restaurants for the crew picked up and store fronts were rented out for film shoots.
"It really had an impact on the smaller towns. The town of Senoia is truly unlike it was a decade ago. It is truly a Hollywood town and it feel like that when you go there," Burns said.
Senoia's downtown grew from just seven businesses to 47 since the Dead arrived.
The 3,000 person town of Grantville saw more visitors than residents last year.
It's not a surprise to devoted dead-heads like Rosleck, who would never have visited Georgia if not for the "Walking Dead."
"It's just such an amazing series with so many great stories and characters," she said.
In 2014, another business launches. Atlanta Movie Tours plans to unleash the zombie apocalypse experience where you try to survive a weekend without being turned in to "The Walking Dead."