It was Christmas in July last year for the town of Barnesville, Georgia.
“The crew went up and down the streets and bought whatever they needed, so everybody in town was happy with that,” said Kathy Oxford, executive director of the Barnesville-Lamar County Industrial Development Authority. “It’s money in the bank – a nice, clean industry.”
The production meant millions for the state, she said, although figures haven’t been tabulated for just the local impact. The county’s sales tax revenue that month, though, was 10 percent higher than in the previous July, usually a slow month in the mid-Georgia town just south of metro Atlanta.
The production rented multiple spaces and paid local folks as extras. Buildings, signs, windows and storefronts downtown got a Hollywood makeover to serve as the fictional location of Wind Gap.
Muralist Andrew Henry got a lot of work out of it. Oxford said Barnesville kept one of the wall paintings with Wind Gap on it.
“We knew we needed a selfie spot,” she said.
Also, antiques shops, local gas stations, stores, restaurants and more saw boosts to their bottom lines.
At least one of those, The Pizzeria and Such, will throw a viewing party Sunday to see Barnesville’s debut as Wind Gap.
“This was our first time being involved in something like this,” Oxford said. “It was a really good experience.”