Cooperstown, NY - “I do worry about the local businesses because they rely on the summer months to help them get through the winter when they’re a lot slower,” said Cooperstown resident Wendy Kuiber.
Main Street shops are usually filled with tourists and baseball fans on Hall of Fame induction weekend but, the calmness of the strip that you see now, will be the same then.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of the small businesses and restaurants on Main Street in Cooperstown to close currently and the postponement of the hall of fame induction ceremony hasn't made the thought of them returning any easier.
“Cooperstown is very much an economic tourist engine for this region,” said Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, “We’ve already taken one major blow with our youth Cooperstown DreamsPark close. So this was just almost to be expected that the induction would not also be able to be held. I think many of our businesses are trying innovative ways to make sure that their businesses survive that's online sales etc. In this scenario…this was the only sane, rational choice and Cooperstown will survive and be glad to welcome people next year when it’s safe."
Last year, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony estimated about 55,000 fans in attendance and with a headliner like New York Yankees great, Derek Jeter, for this year’s class, one can only imagine what this year's crowd would have been like.
That would've meant a lot of business in Cooperstown for restaurants like Danny's Market on Main Street.
“Hall of fame weekend is just one weekend, it's a huge weekend for town and you get a buzz before and after that,” said Danny’s owner, Phillip Andrews who will be missing 90% of its tourist business, “Because you got a look at all of these bed-and-breakfasts and hotels around town that aren't going to have rooms rented out and that's where everything starts. It starts with the hotels and bed-and-breakfast and tourists coming in town and when they stay there they come out in the shop in town and they eat in town and it's going to put a big hurting on everybody,”
Residents of the village are rallying behind local business because of the impact that the absence of Hall of Fame weekend can have on their annual revenue.
“We want to support the local businesses because they still have to pay the rent they still have to pay their bills but without being open it's definitely a tough time for them and we're going into what supposed to be there lucrative season,” said Kuiber.
2021 will be the first combined induction ceremony since 1949 and because of this year’s high profile inductees along with the anticipation for the event in itself, next year’s weekend will appreciated more than ever.
“I am hopeful. We’re hoping that in 2021, it will be an even better event. It will be just what we need,” said Cooperstown resident, Colleen Donnelly.
You can continue to support local business by shopping online and ordering take-out and delivery.