Swim Meet Helps Local Businesses

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

WAYNESBORO, Va.--A swim meet in Waynesboro is benefitting businesses and hotels in the area.

Nearly 500 swimmers participated in the Commonwealth Games of Virginia. Only 50 of them are from Waynesboro, the rest are from out of town.

Kevin McHaney brought 30 swimmers from Madison county to participate.

"We are pretty busy here but they are finding sometime to get around and do it couple of other events as well," said Mchaney.

As swimmers slow down at the pool, downtown business picks up. Chris Hollinger who owns the Green Leaf Grill
said he has seen 25 percent more business since the meet kicked off.

"It has been fantastic. Really busy. We have a lot of people from out of town," said Hollinger.

He said he has seen repeat customers from previous years and also new customers.

" I would say there is probably 50 percent more foot traffic downtown during the daytime when events like this are going on," said Hollinger.

YMCA director of competitive swimming and aquatics Norman Wright helped organize the swim meet. He said prepared businesses and hotels for the big crowd. In addition, he worked with the tourism department to publicize hotels and businesses.

"With a nice facility like this and with supportive parents and a supportive town, people will keep coming back so that's what we are hoping for," said Wright.

McHaney said it is something that he hopes to do in the near future.

"We are just close enough that Waynesboro is not too far away to visit other attractions at other times in the year," said McHaney.

Wright said this year's crowd is larger than last year. He said the event not only benefits the city, but also helps the swim team at the YMCA.

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