CLEARFIELD, Pa. (WTAJ)– With businesses shutting down and people encouraged to stay home, the tourism industry is feeling an impact.
Visit Clearfield County is celebrating past tourism economic success, while discussing the impact coronavirus will have this year.
According to Visit Clearfield County, the county generated $292.7 million dollars in tourism spending in 2018. That’s $15.4 million more compared to 2017.
“With that came 33 new jobs,” Executive Director Josiah Jones said. “Across all categories, shopping, transportation, restaurants, all of them had an increase.”
Jones said some of the big draw has come from big events, baseball tournaments and attractions at local businesses.
One of those places is Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield. They see around 300,000 customers each year.
“We get an awful lot of people that stop by due to our notoriety, but just come to visit the county in general and we give directions to just about any business in Clearfield,” Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub Inc. president Dennis Liegey said.
However, because many of those events and businesses are closing, Jones said he’s not sure how 2020’s numbers will turn out.
“This year isn’t going to go quite as well because we’ve lost out on some of those events,” Jones said.
One of the big attractions in the county, the Doolittle Station’s dinosaur exhibit, brought in 20 thousand people in the past year.
Though, most of Doolittle’s is closed– owner Dr. Jeff Rice is optimistic about the future.
“Unfortunately right now, because of the virus, things are down, but sooner or later, it will end, the dinosaurs will be here,” Rice said.
Jones said Visit Clearfield County is providing their business partners with resources and working to promote businesses locally.