Wicomico Businesses Worried About Drop in Softball Business - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico Businesses Worried About Drop in Softball Business

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SALISBURY, Md. - Week two of the USSSA girls softball tournament is set to resume on Tuesday in Wicomico County.  But the tournament has gotten so big, Wicomico County hotels cannot house all of the guests.  A partnership has been formed between Wicomico and Worcester counties, along with Ocean City to market the region and bring in more events.  However, the partnership has some Wicomico businesses concerned about their bottom line.

At Mojo's in Salisbury, employees say the summer months are when they need the extra business the most during the year.

"Our city has a unique situation in that our offseason is during the summer, where most restaurants it's the complete reverse.  So, we experience a lull.  Everybody is going to Ocean City for the summertime and the university is not in session. So, not only is extra business welcome but it is crucial to keep us alive during the offseason," said Jake Creighton, an employee at the restaurant.

The concern with the new county partnership is that extra summer business is going to decline at certain places. Overall, the tournament brings $10 million annually to the region, but some worry about their individual bottom line.  Wicomico County and Ocean City have already formed the Mid Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance and Worcester County is set to join very soon.  Together, the three entities will promote themselves as a region rather than individual places to attract more events and give sporting event guests options for accommodations when they come to town.

However, some business owners are concerned that focusing on the region could send more people to Ocean City for hotels, and restaurants in Salisbury would lose out on the softball rush they get for three weeks in July.  Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt said businesses should not be worried because everything will even out throughout the year.

"When those events come to Ocean City and they don't have the facilities available, then we will be opening our parks and our civic center and our stadiums around the county for those people and while those people are in Wicomico County, they will go to Wicomico County restaurants, they will spend their money here locally," Pollitt said.

Those fears will quickly fade if the large crowds continue to pack local businesses and restaurants during the summer months.

 

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