Canceled Bridge Day impacts local economy

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – Bridge Day is a huge economic boost in the Fayette County area, and now that the event is canceled, many local businesses are expected to see a financial impact. Many are wondering how the cancellation of West Virginia’s most significant event will affect Fayette County economically.

“There are some businesses I’m sure we’ll have some impacts, but we are trying to talk with the Chambers of Commerce as a group to think outside of the box to promote businesses and vendors throughout the next few months,” said Bridge Day Commission Member Denise Scalph.

According to Commission Chair Becky Sullivan, the exact dollar amount being lost during the weekend of Bridge Day is hard to pinpoint due to all the components involved in the planning process. Despite the exact dollar amount being unknown, it’s still certain that local businesses will be affected with the lack of tourism during that weekend.

“We’ll see what happens, everything is so up in the air, and you would like to think that maybe people will still come because of the fall foliage and all the stuff, and there’s a lot to do even without Bridge Day, but depending on where the social distancing is and where we are with the pandemic that is a very good question and a lot of it remains to be seen,” said Secret Sandwich Society owner Lewis Reinhardt.

Lewis Rhinehart says Bridge Day is the restaurant’s busiest day. Although he expects to see a loss in revenue, he still believes all Fayetteville businesses will make it through this tough time.

“I mean all of the town does really well, there’s car show, the chili cook-off, you know just tons of events,” said Rhinehart. “So it’s a real bummer and a real shame that it’s not going to happen this year. But I will say this; this is important. The resilience of Fayetteville businesses is amazing! And it was reminded to me because I was not here at that time that in 2001 after 9-11 that Bridge Day was canceled and everybody survived. I just want to shout out to all the Fayetteville businesses, we are a resilient bunch, and we are going to persevere.”

For additional economic information, contact the Chamber of Commerce.