DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama State Games are back in Dothan after being canceled last year due to COVID.
The shutdown had a big impact on Dothan’s tourism.
Restaurants and hotels were hit hard, but now that the games are back, one restaurant said things are looking up.
“It’s going to help us pick our even flow up from 2019 sales,” Dothan Golden Corral President Elri Parker said. “It’s going to help us regrow our business and continue to be successful as we were going into 2020 at a great start.”
COVID also hit the hotel industry hard.
While business travel and other types of travel have increased, sporting events have served as the main source of revenue for hotels.
“Sports is just our number one weekend game. So that’s what we’re really thankful for,” Towneplace Suites Director of Sales Betsey Marshall said. “Travel Ball USA is fabulous, the Alabama State Games have actually sold out the entire city. So we are having to refer people as far south as Marianna and as far north as Phenix City, Alabama.”
According to visit Dothan CEO Aaron McCreight, the games should bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We’re looking at multiple millions of dollars of economic impact for this area in retail, restaurants, hotels,” visit Dothan CEO Aaron McCreight said. “They’re here, they’re spending money, they’re having a great time.”