Youth Baseball tournament gives boost to Pascagoula's economy

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula is hosting an Ozone State Baseball Tournament this weekend and it is helping to boost the local economy.

Dwight Carr is from McComb, Mississippi and he's on the Coast to see his son play in the Ozone State Championships. When this dad is not rooting for his son's team, he said he's spending money and enjoying Pascagoula.

"We fund different things; our hotels, our restaurants and our ball teams," Carr said.

Pascagoula youth baseball league President Eric Hartman said Carr is just one of many who will hopefully stay, shop and eat in the city over the next few days.

"There are nine teams in here from across the state and 12 kids on each team, so if they bring their parents that adds up to quite a few," Hartman said.

Over at the Youth Baseball group's concession stand, workers said they have already scored big on profits thanks to the crowds of people.

"That is where the money is made from. From fundraisers," board member Joy Gable said. "In this day and time, with the way the economy is suffering, it helps us. It helps the home people."

Sonic on Market Street said business has also been picking up lately.

"Yes, we got a lot of business, with our foot longs, with our small dogs," Sonic employee Victoria Finley said.

Sonic workers said bringing new money in the community is a win-win for them and the city.

"We are benefiting off of it because we are getting business. The city is benefiting off of us because they are getting sales profit," one Sonic employee said.

Recreation Director Darcie Crew said she is also smiling because the teams staying in the city pay a three percent hotel-motel tax. The proceeds go towards making recreational improvements in the city.

"The three percent, which is right now about $7,000 or $8,000 a month. Absolutely, this weekend probably see a little jump in the hotel tax," Crew said.

The goal for city officials is to attract more events like this next year and get more dollars coming into Pascagoula. Crew said her department is also working with the City Council to restructure the local ballparks and make some other improvements to hopefully attract more tournaments to Pascagoula.

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