World Series to impact economy

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Softball players from across the country will come to Andalusia in August for the Babe Ruth 12U Softball World Series. | File photo

Local hotel owners said the 2011 Babe Ruth 12U Softball World Series will make a significant impact on the economy.

Dwight Mikel, City of Andalusia director of leisure services and tournament coordinator, said approximately 250 rooms have been blocked in hotels in Andalusia and Opp at a Tuesday committee planning meeting.

The World Series will be held Aug. 4-9 at the Andalusia Sports Complex, where 12 teams and their families from across the eight geographic regions of the United States will converge to be a part of the tournament.

Mikel said the World Series itself is a “county-wide venture,” where the City of Andalusia, the City of Opp and the Covington County Commission have donated funds to help with the cost of hosting the event.

“We’re all stakeholders in this, and we’re all trying to showcase this,” Mikel said.

Comfort Inn owner Nick Patel said the softball World Series will drastically help his business.

“It will help in revenues, and it will help everybody in town’s businesses, restaurants and gas pumps,” Patel said.

Holiday Inn Express manager Kim Jenkins said in addition to helping with her hotel’s revenues, it will bring Andalusia some good notoriety.

“It’ll actually cause them (visitors) to come back,” Jenkins said. “It’s a good PR (public relations) tool.

“We’re able to show what Andalusia offers,” she said. “Instead of a small-world town, we’re an up-and-coming city.”

Neil Patel, manager at the Best Western in Opp, said the World Series is just plain “good for business.”

“It just helps out and brings revenue,” Neil said. “It just helps us out when they come. It’s good to see Andalusia host something this big.”

As early as next week, managers from each hotel that have rooms blocked for the World Series will meet to discuss how the registration will work, Mikel said.