Jamboree, economic boom or bust in Fayette County? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Did Jamboree bring economic boom or bust to Fayette County?

Posted: Updated:
FAYETTEVILLE -

Just one day after the Boy Scout national jamboree has come to an end, 59News was wondering, did the major event impact our local economy? The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve would be the third largest city in the state of West Virginia, if it were a city and while the Jamboree was going on.

The Jamboree brought more than just boy scouts with it.  Many volunteer staff members, Boy Scout leaders, military personnel and visitors ventured into Wild and Wonderful West Virginia for the national Jamboree. But did these ten-of-thousands of visitors open their wallets and spend their cash in our local communities.

Weeks before the Boy Scout national jamboree kicked off many local businesses were busy preparing for their restaurants to be more crowd than usual.

"There was a lot of talk about it being extremely busy so we did a little over ordering and staffed extra people," Angie Bard, General Manager of Pies and Pints said.

Though this is already peak tourism season for the town of Fayetteville, local businesses were preparing for even more traffic.  

Businesses just like Pies and Pints and the Wild Flower Bakery expected to cash in on the Jamboree, but they said the payout may have come up short.

"We over stocked like our mixes and stuff that we would need but we really didn't use any just out locals didn't really come out either because they were afraid it was going to be so busy and it didn't really get busy," Jessica Brown, waitress at Wild Flower Bakery said.

59News spoke with several other business owners along the main street in Fayetteville.  Most of them shared a similar experience, ordering a lot, but serving a little. 59News learned boy scouts only were allowed off the Summit during their day of service.  Staff members were limited to their time off site as well.

59News spoke with one volunteer staff members walking into Pies and Pints.  He said this was his first time off the Summit.

"I was on site for the entire jamboree. We were deciding where to eat lunch and someone said pies and pints! I was like pizza! I haven't had pizza in two weeks," David Bost, a volunteer staff from Georgia said. Business owners said those spending the most were members of the military. They were not staying on the summit and were permitted out in the community. 59News spoke with a member of the National Guard and he estimated he spent around $1,000 during his time in Fayette County.

Many owners said this first Jamboree will help them prepare for the next one, including what to expect when the World Jamboree comes in 2019.