WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Little League World Series is just a few weeks away and local businesses are ready for the return of fans.
Like so many other events, last year the Little League World Series was canceled due to COVID restrictions. Some businesses in Williamsport say they’re ready to open their doors again to fans and families.
The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic. As restrictions eased up, they were finally able to host more people. Events like the Little League World Series are one of the biggest activities for local hotels.
“It was something we missed a hardship financially because everybody in the hotel industry here, the restaurant industry here, we all look forward to that influx of business that time of year,” Gennetti’s resident manager Alicia Keller said.
Another local hotel says aside from the loss of revenue, they also missed all the excitement.
“It just brings like whole energy to the entire city and it was really just kind of disheartening you know? We really missed it but it’s going to make this year so much more exciting,” Residence Inn general manager Dana Irvin said.
Earlier this month, the Little League World Series announced that 3000 fans can fill the stands each day of the games. Although it’s not quite like old times, businesses say they’d rather have some than none.
“Even with the limited amount of people, we feel that just anybody that comes from out of the area to experience you know what this area has to offer, is exciting for everybody,” Long Island Pizza owner Kurt Kane said.
“We understand it’s not going to be the Little League we always expected but actually this year we have 16 U.S. teams coming,” Keller said.
The games begin Thursday, August 19th, and will run until Sunday, August 29th.
All of the businesses say it’s been a long time coming and they’re ready to get back to some sense of normalcy.