Softball Tournament Provides Boost to Local Economy

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The week-long Dixie Girls Softball World Series has been an economic windfall for Marianna business owners, with "No Vacancy” signs at motels, and waiting lines outside Jackson County restaurants.

Crowded Marianna corridors and hundreds of visitors spending dollars and cents at area businesses; it’s an economic windfall for host of the 2007 Dixie Girls Softball World Series.

Some 34 teams, many coming from as far away as Texas and South Carolina, Chamber of Commerce officials say it's a win-win for everyone.

Art Kimbrough, director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce said, "Two-million dollars to the direct impact; a lot of lines at restaurants, and crowded motels, and a whole lot of young ladies getting a great experience."

Waitress Sherri Smith says the crowds can be hectic, but it's a whole lot better being crowded as opposed to the alternative. "Saturday and Sunday it was real busy,” she said. “Today, it's not quite lunch, but they'll be a big crowd for that."

Jay Bhakta, owner of Best Western said, "On this side of town the motels are fully occupied, and crowded. It’s very busy, busy."

For the players, and coaches, holding the World Series here has been a great experience

Biloxi, Mississippi Resident Anthony Dustbol said, "They've done a tremendous job. It’s been a great experience. I am glad it has taken place here."

All the action has taken place at the Mere Recreation Complex off Caverns Road.

With the profit margin made this week, city officials are expected to lobby to host the event next year as well.

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