BERLIN, Md. - Business owners in Berlin say they are expecting an up beat in sales, thanks to the pretty cool title as America's coolest small town.The mayor says banners will go up at every major entrance of the town. Coffee mugs are being made. Shirts are on sale and a big party is in the works.Business owner Debbie Frene says she's already seen an upbeat in sales just a week after Berlin was crowned."I think the foot traffic will increase in Berlin if nothing else and it's up to us to make the sales happen," said Frene.Berlin officials say they are expecting a 25 to 45 percent increase in retail sales to hopefully bring in about 15,000 to 20,000 tourists to town."Already we've got people coming into town to see what it's about," said Michael Day, economic development director. Day says the town is getting ready for a massive economic impact."Every shop is full. We have no retail space for rent and now with this, with the coolest small town. we are getting calls wanting to know if they could open a store in Berlin," said Day. Coffee shop owner Jason Hagy says he needs to see the spike in revenue to believe it."This all happened in the middle of winter and it's our off season so it's really hard to tell how much it's going to affect our economy until we start seeing a larger variety of people," said Hagy. As for Frene, she's using the title as a money-maker.The town was one of 15 finalists in the nationwide contest and according to its website, Berlin got 28 percent of the votes, finishing with a 7-point lead.To celebrate, the mayor says the town is throwing America's coolest party on Saturday, March 29th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Berlin.
WBOC Early Morning vidcast for Sunday, July 27,2014.