Auburn merchants prepare for a big weekend - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

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Auburn merchants prepare for a big weekend

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AUBURN, Ala. -

Auburn is alive with activity going into Iron Bowl weekend, and city merchants are getting a big economic boost.

The presses are hot with "Beat Bama" T-shirts at Tiger Rags. Company president Jerry Rigby says customers are just starting to come back to the local retailers after last year's rough season.

"It's just a whole different atmosphere," says Rigby. "There's still some apprehension I think on the consumers, but I think now they're beginning to realize that Gus is for real, the team is for real, and we've got some great things ahead of us."

It's a busy week for everyone in Auburn with people in town for the Iron Bowl, Thanksgiving and some just passing through.

Stephen Herndon is in from Houston for the holiday doing some annual Auburn stocking up. J&M Bookstore was his second stop downtown and he says, "They've just been packed with people buying stuff."

Trey Johnston is loving the business he's getting at J&M. He says Auburn football being ranked #4 in the country makes all the difference.

"It really is indicative to the success or failure of a business in this community," says Johnston. He says this time last year he had a half million dollars in credit. He paid that debt off this week.

"Last year was such a terrible year," says Johnston, "just such a down experience with Auburn. It's good to be competitive and know you can win a game."

Rigby adds, "Last year was the most miserable year we've spent in the 31 years we've been in business, so no comparison."

The merchants say they're all looking forward to an even bigger weekend for the Tigers.

Tickets for the Iron Bowl are now going for thousands of dollars online. If you don't want to spend the big bucks, you can watch the game on WRBL at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, 2:30 Central.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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