Elliott said other dents to the citys economic outlook is the lost season of the West Virginia RoughRiders indoor football team, the Wheeling Symphony cancelling shows and anything held at Wheeling Heritage Port.
We really hope going forward in 2021 that the economy opens back up. All the events that we come to rely on and make Wheeling what it is, seeing them open their doors back up to crowds and large attendance, Elliott said.
OBrien said the city will be in recovery mode for a long time after the blows dealt by the coronavirus pandemic. He admitted that a few restaurants in Wheeling have closed its doors for good.
OBrien estimated up to 30,000 people travel to the area every year to take in the games, although before the event was moved officials were bracing for limited capacity crowds because of the virus.
He added there are a few silver linings to the citys tourism and economic year and it includes the Wheeling Nailers coming back to action this month inside WesBanco Arena with limited fans. Officials said Oglebays Festival of Lights is seeing record numbers due to it being a drive-thru event.
Frank OBrien, Executive Director, Wheeling/Ohio County Convention & Visitors Bureau said theannual event to the Wheeling areahas generated up to $1 million in revenue during the first weekend of December. He told MetroNews he understood the decisions made.
OBrien said of Super Six.OBrien said.The high school football state championship games that had been in Wheeling for 27 straight years wasmoved out of Wheelingby the WVSSAC due to growing virus numbers in the county and thenultimately canceledin 2020.He said the biggest impacts will be the businesses in downtown Wheeling and on Wheeling Island with the location of Wheeling Island Stadium. OBrien also said the Highlands Complex along Interstate-70 in Ohio County will also lose out on revenue.So for us to lose that,But we are in recovery mode and when people feel more comfortable,once the vaccine is widely distributed,traditional event that has been held in Wheeling for many,not penalizing the city for the missed 2020 opportunity. The city is set tohost the eventin 2021,2023,its the right thing to do. Regardless of the positive or negative economic impact. We can make it up somewhere down the road as we return to normal,and now 2024.This was another major,I think people will start to venture out again.Its truly been hard to quantify the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the city of Wheeling. It certainly hurts in the tourism side,Elliott told MetroNews.Losing the Super Six is an additional blow. Officials in the City of Wheeling have added the cancellation of the Super Six football championships to the growing list of the economic blows the area has been dealt due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.If its the right thing to do,many years that had to be canceled because of this virus,2022,thats going to hurt.OBrien and Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott both confirmed that the WVSSAC is adding an additional year on to Wheelings contract to host the games.
According to OBrien, between 60 and 70 events were cancelled at the Wheeling Heritage Port in 2020 including the Blues Festival and Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival, equaling around 350,000 people that did not come to downtown Wheeling that normally would.
The tourism industry was the first negatively impacted industry from this virus and I also think it will be one of the last to recover, he said.
Whenever you have several thousand people in your community, they spend money on hotels, restaurants, retail. Theyll go to Cabelas, different types of drug stores and gas stations. Its a positive economic impact, OBrien said.