It may be Little League, but it could have a big economic impact on Meadville and surrounding Crawford County — almost $1.5 million.

The Pennsylvania 9- and 10-year-old Little League Baseball state championships are being hosted in Meadville Friday through next Thursday — an event that’s bringing at least 300 players, coaches and their families from across the state.

“It’s just a great opportunity for our area,” said Juanita Hampton, executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau has worked with area businesses and the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce to develop welcome packets for the teams. Those are filled with information about the area and coupons for businesses and attractions.

“We’re trying to lead them around the county because they’re not going to be at the ballfields all day,” Hampton said.

It’s estimated by Hampton that all those coming in for the tournament generate about $1.47 million into the local economy.

Hampton arrives at that figure saying the tournament will generate around $30,000 total per day for rooms, food, meals, entertainment and shopping. That’s based on statewide tourism daily spending averages of $100 per person.

Multiply the $30,000 daily figure by a week and the total hits $210,000.

“Then there’s spill-over to other (local) businesses,” Hampton said.

That’s because each dollar spent locally recirculates within the community up to seven times, pushing the number up to $1.47 million.

“Businesses buy their own supplies, merchandise goods, pay salaries and taxes,” Hampton said.

Charlie Anderson, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said any large function coming to town is going to have a big impact.

“It’s an honor for Meadville to be selected to host it,” Anderson said. “So many communities compete for these type of events.”

“It’s great economy-wise,” he continued. “These people are going to eat here, get gasoline, go around town on their down time.”

Area hotels say they’re seeing an impact already from the tournament.

Some 72 of the 163 rooms at the Days Inn Hotel and Conference Center are tournament-related bookings, according to Alyssa DeFrances, the hotel’s sales manager.

“Summer’s always busy, but it fills us up,” she said of the tournament. “They (people coming for the tournament) are calling and asking what to do in the area, where to go to eat. They’re going to spend money here and spread throughout the area.”

Connie Darke, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express, said about 20 of the hotel’s 67 rooms are booked because of the tournament.

“Definitely,” she said when asked if it helps the local economy. “We’ve had a number of people (with the tournament) asking what to do and where to go.”

The goal is to make it a good overall experience for those coming here, both Anderson and Hampton said.

“We want them to leave with good memories of the area,” Anderson said.

“It’s not just the kids, but their families building memories,” Hampton said. “Our goal is to get them to come back (on their own).”

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