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BOOM TOWN: HIGH POINT IS HAPPY TO BURST AT THE SEAMS\ FURNITURE MARKET OPENS THURSDAY
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BOOM TOWN: HIGH POINT IS HAPPY TO BURST AT THE SEAMS\ FURNITURE MARKET OPENS THURSDAY

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On your market, get set, get ready for High Point's population to double overnight.

Starting Thursday, the number of people in High Point will equal a record Winston 500 crowd of 133,500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.All over the Triad you can expect traffic jams, crowded restaurants and ``no vacancy' signs at hotels.

High Point's International Home Furnishings Market draws people from all 50 states and more than 65 countries. It funnels more money into North Carolina than any other event.

Last year, market visitors spent about $156 million. Beneficiaries included hotels, motels, restaurants, auto rental companies and scores of other businesses, not to mention local tax coffers.

Furniture exhibitors and sales reps began trickling into the Triad this past week to prepare for the twice-annual showcase. Most retailers and other wholesale buyers arrive today.

Once showrooms open Thursday, exhibitors jockey for buyers' attention. Buyers race to visit regular suppliers and make new contacts. They comparison-shop and decide what they should order to show customers in their stores.

The market's biggest impact comes after the nine-day event. That's when retailers place orders that keep furniture makers, fabric makers and other suppliers working.

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