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Postponement of outdoor show to impact local businesses - abc27 WHTM

Postponement of outdoor show to impact local businesses

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    Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show postponed indefinitely

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    Thursday, January 24 2013 4:20 PM EST2013-01-24 21:20:33 GMT
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The decision to postpone the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is affecting a lot of others who have nothing to do with the show.

An estimated 250,000 people come to Harrisburg every year for the show. Those visitors spend big bucks not just inside the show, but outside it as well.

"This is something the tourism industry has really counted on this time of the year to help their sales, keep people employed, and to make their numbers," said Harrisburg Regional Chamber president Dave Black.

The chamber estimates $80 million is spent during the course of the event, but Black calls that number conservative.

The hotel industry stands to take a huge hit, including the Staybridge Suites which is just feet away from the Farm Show Complex. Restaurants will also see a huge bite taken out of their sales.

"We always look forward to the orange and camo," said Artie Tafoya, director of operations at Appalachian Brewing Company. "You'd see them at every table."

The show brings some of the biggest crowds of the entire year to the Cameron Street restaurant.

"You know, we're just a mile down the road so people who plan on meeting meet here from time to time. We had a good plan in place for this year. We'll have to look at it and re-evaluate," said Tafoya.

While this is a significant hit, experts say the midstate can bounce back.

"It's not going to be a crushing blow or anything recessionary for the region," said Black, "It's just one of those blips that you have on the economic radar in a region like Harrisburg."

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is such a big part of the local economy for two very important reasons. It's a lot longer than the other shows, and timing.

Winter is usually a slow period for these businesses. The show provides a real boost, which they now probably won't get.

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