Business in Cooperstown after pandemic canceled last Hall of Fame induction

Sports

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WUTR) — Fans from all over are coming to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 induction, which is bringing business to those who have been struggling due to the pandemic.

“Overall, I think our businesses survived with the pandemic reasonably well. And comparable to, I would say, 2019. Particularly in August,” said Vincent Russo, owner of Mickey’s Place, a store that features baseball-related souvenirs.

And when fans come to Cooperstown, they need a place to stay. Landmark Inn co-owners Keith Gulla and John Walker tell us their inn is completely sold out and customers started making reservations as soon as they knew the new ceremony date. For Walker, who was born and raised in Cooperstown, this is not his first Hall of Fame induction. He says this will be an interesting year because it has never been on a Wednesday in September.

“It’s going to be good to see how many people come up and come in and how the town does swell in population over the next few days and few hours,” said Walker.

The owner of Huntington Baseball Company William Peebles has been setting up as a vendor in Cooperstown since 2016, and he even came to sell his handmade, vintage-inspired baseballs last year when the induction was cancelled.

Originally, businesses were anticipating 100,000 people to be attending if this event had been held on schedule a year ago. However, Peebles does not expect that number this year.

“There’s more people here for sure, but not the 100,000 people that we were hoping,” said Peebles. “Obviously not as many people as we were expecting, but I see a lot of familiar people that I’ve seen that have come here for the last few decades. So it’s great to see everybody back!”

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