Downtown State College hopeful for economic turnaround

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – With mitigation orders lifting, plus a return to full capacity at Beaver Stadium, downtown State College could be returning to its normal buzz.

This comes after the CEO & President of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau Fritz Smith says the town took an economic hit during the pandemic.

“From mid March through even today, we’re still feeling the effects of the travel restrictions,” said Smith.

According to Smith, Centre County welcomes around 4.3 million visitors in a typical year. But that wasn’t the case this year, he says.

“We took about a $400,000,000 hit in terms of spending to Centre County businesses,” said Smith.

But with the newly relaxed measures, Executive Director Lee Ann Jeffries of the Downtown State College Improvement District says they’re already noticing a return to normal.

“I’ve already started seeing more foot traffic downtown,” said Jeffries.

And according to Director of Sales Michael Balchin, the Scholar Hotel will be seeing it too.

“The bigger games we’re already selling out as they normally would. It’s going to be great to see just people coming back to downtown State College in the fall like it normally would’ve been and just seeing everyone enjoying themselves. That’s the most exciting thing for us,” said Balchin.

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