A follow-up to my previous post:
Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 31, 2001:
Although Caroline County hasn’t calculated the economic impact the jamboree has on the region, officials say the quadrennial gathering is one of the most significant economic events in the area. On state Route 207 leading from Interstate 95 to Bowling Green, gas stations, restaurants and local businesses prominently display signs welcoming Scouts and visitors to the area – and their business.
The jamboree business boom appears to be good, said Gary Wilson, Caroline’s director of economic development.
“So far, all the information has to be anecdotal, but we could probably use another hotel or two,” Wilson said. “All of our hotels are booked.”
In Fredericksburg, local hotels have been booked for two weeks before and two weeks after the jamboree, apparently from visitors who came early or will linger, particularly to see the Civil War battlefields in the area, said Kathy Beard, director of economic development and tourism in Fredericksburg.
In downtown Fredericksburg, streets are more congested than usual with visitors flocking to visit the antiques shops, cafes and boutiques that line Caroline Street, Beard said.
“The level of this spike does not occur until the Boy Scouts return,” she said. “No other event brings the kind of impact this project does.”
At Main Street Cafe in Bowling Green, owner Maxine Miller has employed family and friends to help her serve the extra customers, and her mother has been working overtime to bake the cafe’s signature homemade pies.
“We’re very pleased,” Miller said. “We love this. We had the Boy Scouts of America band come in the other day. . . . I don’t know what kind of food they have over there, but they ate good. They really enjoyed themselves with the milkshakes.”
At Roma’s, the Amatos hired seven extra workers for the week, rented the building next door to accommodate overflow crowds and added tables to the restaurant. After doubling their food inventory, they found out it still wasn’t enough.
“We can’t keep enough lettuce in the house to make salads,” Josephine Amato said.
But a group of about 20 jamboree youth staff chowing down on mushroom and pepperoni pizzas in the middle of the restaurant didn’t seem to notice. They were just happy to get food away from camp.
“Lunch has been sandwiches all week. Breakfast has gotten to the point where we really don’t get up for it anymore. This is great. And he’s paying the bill,” said Steven Anderson, 19, of Wichita, Kan., as his leader pulled out his wallet.
I threw in the stuff from Kathy Beard just because of the irony of the fact that she now works for Gary Wilson as Tourism Manager or whatever.