HIGH POINT, NC -- At the Spring High Point Furniture Market all anyone could talk about was House Bill 2. That's the law that requires people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificates while in government buildings.
It's been called discriminatory and after it passed in March, furniture buyers canceled plans to visit the market. Attendance only went down by 1%.
Now, the market is back for it's fall run and HB2 doesn't seem to be an issue. In fact, business is booming at the furniture market and in High Point.
"Around 75,000 people, it's tens and tens and tens of thousands."
The High Point furniture market is back in town... and vendors like Josh Jarboe with Global Views are excited about this season's turnout.
"We've been extremely busy, we're please the traffic of the market so far," Jarboe said.
Once the market closes that traffic heads to local businesses like the J.H. Adams Inn on North Main Street. They're completely booked for seven to ten days.
Derek Cross and Mary Soles work in the hotel's restaurant. They've been preparing for the market business for weeks.
"We really look forward to it because it really ups our revenue this time and we just love the people and all the interaction with everybody," Sole said. "It really keeps us on our toes and keeps us busy and really we just live for this time of year."
The reservation books are full, the tables are set and the guests are on the way. On Saturday they're expecting 120 to 150 people.
A Duke University study found that the furniture market generates more than $5 billion for the regional economy. Something the Inn welcomes with open arms.
"We really live for this time of the year. We're accommodating to them because they're accommodating to us," Cross said.
The furniture market is the largest economic event in North Carolina. People come from all over the world to see the newest trends in furniture and design.
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