Plans in the works for another Elkhart Comic Con after successful weekend
The first Comic Con in Elkhart was such a huge success organizers say it exceeded expectations.
On Saturday alone crowds were estimated at nearly 6,400 people and on Sunday that number was around 3,000.
Organizers originally budgeted for only 3,000 people for the entire weekend, but with more than double that number in attendance they're already planning how to make next year's even bigger and better.
Comic Con organizers say the turnout was everything they could've hoped for and more.
They say at one point the fire marshal even had to shut the event down on Saturday afternoon because the Lerner was over capacity.
"Which is good news. It means we have to find somewhere bigger for next year," said Hall of Heroes Owner, Allen Stewart.
Downtown Elkhart also benefited. The owner of the Vine Restaurant just a block away from the Lerner says for a busy Saturday they doubled their business, and it was four times that amount for a normal weekend.
"We were expecting it, and I was actually hoping for a little more than we got, but we had a fabulous day. It exceeded normal numbers, so it was great," said Jeanne Kern, owner of the Vine.
Dan Halstead, the owner of the Secret Door Games, says they also did really well. Halstead, who was a vendor at the con, says they had solid traffic at their booth on the floor and the shop. He says they sold about half a month's worth of product in just two days.
"For something like this most of the ticket buyers buy that weekend, and so it's really hard to track how big it's going to be. We were being conservative on the estimates, but we're still very pleased with the numbers we got," said Halstead.
Mayor Time Neese has already decided to bring the con back next year, but now organizers have to decide whether or not to keep the event downtown or look for a bigger venue.
Either way they believe it won't have a negative impact on businesses downtown.
"We received a lot of positive feedback on how much they liked the beer and the food, and they liked the atmosphere. So they'll definitely make a return trip next year, even if the cons in a different location," said Stewart.
Organizers say they are considering a different venue for next year, like moving the event to the RV Hall of Fame and Museum near the Toll Road, or another option they have is hosting the event during a warmer month and having it outside and around downtown.
Nothing is set in stone at this time, but one thing is for certain -- expect more superheros to invade Elkhart in the future..