HALL OF FAME REOPENING
Even This Late In Season,
More Tourists Can’t Hurt
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – At Mickey’s Place, Vin Russo, dean of the baseball merchants, pointed out that, before Dreams Park began hosted baseball tournaments early in the month, “this week is when the season began.”
In other words, the Hall of Fame’s announcement it will reopen this Friday from the coronavirus pause won’t be like recent summer seasons for Main Street’s baseball merchants. But this used to be typical, and businesses survived, even thrived.
“I’m hopeful, along with the recent advertising, it will encourage people to take their ‘Bucket List’ trip to Cooperstown,” said Cassandra Harrington, Destination Marketing of Otsego County executive director.
DMCOC launched its “Cooperstown On Deck” online advertising campaign Tuesday. “It’s meant to be flexible,” Harrington said. “So we’ll update it with the news from the Hall.”
The Hall of Fame’s opening depends on Phase Four of NY Foward, which is due to start Friday. If for some reason it doesn’t, the Hall will stay closed.
Still, the news appeared to buoy people.
“This is truly a blessing,” said the Rev. Dane Boston, rector, Christ Episcopal Church, crossing Main Street at the flagpole.
“We’ll get some tourists, at least,” said Will Monie of Willis Monie Books, who was passing by. Happily, he said, his Internet sales have held up. He still needs to make up for the Glimmerglass Opera season, whose patrons are his patrons, too.
At Kate’s Upstate, 134 Main, Kate Lanza expects an uptick in business, especially since she’s expanded her line beyond women’s wear. “”Now we can dress the whole family,” she said.
Russo’s take was that the Hall’s decision was both good news – and late, and the full impacts of this Induction-less season won’t be known for a while.
“Most businesses build up a nest egg to take them through winter,” he said. “Most are using last year’s nest egg now.” Next spring, there will be no nest egg from this season, he observed.
Before Dreams Park began opening earlier and earlier in June, the mainstay of the summer tourist season was families from the Northeast, said Russo. Maybe they will be again this year.
“Who’s going to Europe” he asked . “Nobody. Who’s going to the Coast? Nobody.”
Maybe, he mused, ticking off North Pole, N.Y., Fort Ticonderoga and other Upstate drawing cards, those Northeast families will return in force.
“This may lead to the rebirth of Frontier Town,” he said.