State tournament boosts local economy

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

Troy will be bustling this weekend thousands of people in town for the Dixie Youth Baseball AAA and Major state tournaments, which run from Thursday to Tuesday.

With all those visitors comes a lot of money as well for local hotels, gas stations, restaurants and shops.

Sheila Jackson, director of public relations and tourism for Troy, said the friends and families coming to watch the tournament are also exposed to the beauty of Troy, bringing opportunities for more visits in the future.

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“We’re always excited to host the state tournament, in part because of the economic impact for the hotels, the restaurants, the gas, but also having people in our city to showcase our beauty and charm such as downtown and the university,” Jackson said.

Dan Smith, director of the recreation department, said families of all the players coming for the tournament get information about all Troy has to offer before they even get in the city.

“Before people even come to Troy, they know what we have to offer,” Smith said. “We do a promotional pack and information packet that every family member of every player receives, and it has a wide variety of information about Troy and what to do while they’re here.”

Although the tournaments don’t start until 3 p.m. today, Smith said most of the families already arrived Wednesday night, bring more than a thousand people into town for nearly a week.

“It easily brings in over a thousand people here each day,” Smith said. “A lot of people around here are going to come out, too, because they know it’s going to be a great tournament. We have already heard of people coming out that don’t have anyone playing on the local team.”

Kathy Sauer, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, said that the length of the stay allows more opportunities for families to experience parts of Troy that other tourists might miss.

“When they come in for a tournament, they come for longer so they have a broader shopping experience,” Sauer said. “So, normally, if you were staying overnight you would go to your hotel or your motel and your restaurants, but if you’re going to a tournament and have children involved, you might discover downtown and go to some stores and see the sights.”

Sauer said getting out into the town during downtime can pay off in a variety of ways for the city.

“The impact could be that they like what they see and if the opportunity comes up, they could move to the area. Or a child that’s in the tournament could decide to come to Troy University, so you never know the impact that could have. Also, when they have a good experience, they’ll take that back and we can have more people visit.

“Most of all, we want to welcome our visitors and if there’s anything they need, they can feel free to stop by the Chamber.”