PITTSBURG, Ks. — A national event has a lot of local business owners in Pittsburg excited.
Taylor Whiteley, Root Coffee, said, “We’re anticipating a very busy weekend, so hopefully that plays out.”
Local businesses and tourism have taken a huge hit since the pandemic started a year ago. But this could soon change for places like Pittsburg.
Devin Forman, Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau Director, said, “We’re hosting the 2021 National Junior College Track and Field Indoor National Championship. So a lot of extra restrictions, a lot of extra precautions, a lot of safety precautions but we’re excited to be bringing people back into Pittsburg.”
Sporting events are usually some of the biggest draws for college towns.
“When there would be events it would be even more so, on Saturday mornings we would have five people working back here working at a time, which gets crazy but it was necessary. It stayed pretty busy through our curbside time but compared to how it was before the pandemic, everything slowed way down and it has been slower.”
Athletes have already began arriving from all over the country to compete. Now bringing in hundreds of new faces who wouldn’t have been able to when everything first started.
“A lot of events got canceled due to COVID and this is the largest scale event that we’ve hosted here in Pittsburg and Crawford county,” said Forman.
Bringing back business to the local economy. While it may not be in the same capacity, this is a major change from how it was back when the pandemic first started.
“This is what tourism is all about is bringing people into our community. 2020 was the worst year on record for tourism in the country so being able to start having events again, bringing people back into our community of course filling our hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping while they’re here, it’s very important.”