This year's Little League Baseball World Series is projected to bring in just under $20 million by the time it is over, according to Jason Fink, executive vice president of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
Fink based those projections on a regional survey conducted in 2005, adjusted for inflation.
Although a small handful of hotels in the area noted a lag in reservations for the Series, the vast majority were either on track with reservations from previous years, or ahead.
Little League fans and volunteer ushers Richard and Glenna Allison of Martinsburg, W. Va., check into the Genetti Hotel Thursday. Downtown businesses see a boom in business during Little League Baseball World Series.
"We are a little ahead of previous years. I don't think the economy has made an impact. It has been busy this summer. There may be a few backouts but nothing that made any impact. You may lose three people but you gain five," said Doug Bartholomew, operations manager of Candlewood Suites in Loyalsock Township.
The Comfort Inn, also in Loyalsock Township, reported having available rooms about a week prior to the series. Jennifer Gair, general manager of the hotel, believes the reason for the lag in reservations may be attributed to the hotel's newness.
"We are brand new and haven't advertised as well as some other hotels in the area," Gair said. The Inn opened six months ago.
According to Fink, attendance will be strong, regardless of the economy.
"This is the 63rd World Series, several of which were played during recessions of their own. Little League will continue to move on," Fink said.
Many variables go into the Series turnout.
"There are always variables based on who makes it. For example, you tend to see larger numbers of people in attendance if the team is from a larger urban area, instead of a small rural Little League team. We'll see an increase that way," Fink said.
The Staten Island and San Antonio teams both are from metropolitan areas that may prove to provide larger turnouts.
In response to the economy's decline, many people may change the way they spend their summer vacations.
"There is the opportunity from the other end to see new people who may have vacationed farther away. They may have made that trip to Florida or some other farther away destination and may have said, 'Let's do something closer to home,'" Fink said.
In addition to vacationing at the Series, there also may be an influx of day-trippers, something more popular as a summer break in a down economy.
According to Fink, day-trippers are important to any travel community.
"They are going to need to eat. They will either eat in the area or at the complex. They are going to need to fill up with gas," Fink said.