MACON, Ga. -- Mercer University officials estimate the school has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy each year.

Mercer Senior Vice President Larry Brumley says the institution is focused on investing in downtown.

"Really, as a university, we are about attracting talented students, faculty, staff," he said. "And it's in our best interest to do work to make Macon as vital as it can be."

Brumley says this helps ensure Mercer students on the Macon campus have a beautiful and safe place to learn.

"The economic impact of 4,500 students and more than 1,200 faculty and staff, we don't have precise figures, but it has to amount to the hundreds of millions of dollars a year on economic impact," he said.

Valerie Bradley with Visit Macon says the university draws tourists into hotels and restaurants.

Bradley says now with Mercer Music at Capricorn opening this week, they expect that number to grow.

"Mercer's a great partner," she said. "It has lots to offer in their events, also Mercer Music at Capricorn. That opening, from a tourism perspective, also having an opportunity for musicians to be able to come here and record."

According to the Mercer's website, MU is home to over 8,000 students in total, counting all campuses. The website also shows students from 56 different countries.