State title games bring in business
The state title games brought in flocks of fans to Derry Township, Dauphin County this weekend.
Hershey plays host to several sporting events throughout the year, and of course sees a lot of tourism during the summer, when the Hersheypark is open.
Business owners tell me that over the years, business is coming in more and more, thanks to events like the state football playoffs.
Fenicci's has been in business for more than 80 years.
"We sold out on a weekend in December," said restaurant owner Phil Guarno. "That’s before all the holidays, and it will just continue."
Guarno says December is becoming one of their busiest times of the year.
He says each year, business at the restaurant increases between 10 and 15 percent.
"When we get these events, these large sporting events, and especially the state games, what it does is fill hotel rooms that wouldn’t normally [be] full, and those people need to go out and eat," Guarno said.
Across the street, new restaurants are open, many for the first time this fall.
Primanti Brothers has been packed all weekend.
"We’re on an hour wait all day, expect to be on an hour wait or more well into tonight," said Gary Grasela.
Grasela says they've been busy since they opened their doors for the first time.
"It’s great 'cause it attracts more people more restaurants, more shops, more everything, and it attracts more crowds and that’s great for everybody on Chocolate Avenue," Grasela said.
Guarno says looking out the window, it's great to see Hershey's new little downtown.
"Hershey finally has a downtown now," Guarno said. "They say all boats rise with the tide, so we see the fact that more and more people coming downtown, thus all of our businesses are busy and more successful."
Guarno says the state title game isn't the only attraction this month.
Hershey Park's light show and New Year's Eve brings a ton of business their way.
It was a tough weekend for Central Pennsylvania teams in state championship games. Manheim Central fell 36-31 to Penn Hills on Friday night. On Saturday, Middletown was shut-out by Aliquippa, 35-0, and Harrisburg lost to St. Joseph's Prep, 40-20.