DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona Beach has landed the 2017 Shriners convention. It's expected the event will draw roughly 20,000 to Volusia County. "Just wish is was next year instead of five years from now, but we can build on this in the interim by attracting other conventions," said Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey. The city made a proposal that won over the Shriners including an expanded convention center for their use and three beachfront hotels. Orlando businessman Gary Bergenske will lead the Shriners in 2017 and vocally promoted Daytona Beach to his colleagues. Bergenske and his family have vacationed in the area for years. "I think the small-town atmosphere really attracted us and I think more than anything the passion of the people in their wanting it to be here," he said. The Shriners weeklong stay is expected to create an estimated $8 million economic boost.
The selection still has to be ratified by the entire membership.