Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 29, 2013

Concert expected to boost region’s economy

BLUEFIELD — Both music and money will be coming into the two Virginias this weekend.

The thousands of visitors flocking to the region for the third annual Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias Concert are expecting to bring a spike in the local economies of both Mercer and Tazewell counties. Marc Meachum, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, said the concert comes at a time with the region is usually in the midst of an economic lull.

“It is obviously a big boost at this time of year, just like the minor league baseball,” Meachum said. “It’s in the middle of the summer, which is typically a slower time economically.”

Keith Circle with the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce said the Bluefield event still greatly benefits the Princeton area and the county as a whole.

“What is good for Bluefield is good for the area,” Circle said. “This is a big enough event we see economic impact on the other side of the county. We see an increase to a lot of industries, to hotels, restaurants and shopping. It is just an all around great thing.”

Meachum said a wide variety of businesses reap rewards from those visiting the area.

“Local vendors make money,” Meachum said. “Motels and hotels make money and caterers make money. It’s a big thing for this area. Anyone who is associated with this event has a good bit of economic opportunity. Hotels see a big boost in occupancy while restaurants, gas stations, convenience markets and a number of other businesses benefit from this.”

Circle said the concert series is also a great marketing tool for local businesses.

“It’s a great opportunity not only to market this area to visitors but for local businesses to market themselves,” Circle said. “I am sure people come not only from out of the county but out of the state to see this. It’s a great chance for any business involved to get advertisement out. It’s just a great asset to this area.”

Beyond private businesses, Meachum said local charities also see the benefits of the concert.

“So many local charities benefit from the proceeds of this event,” Meachum said. “So many volunteers come out for this event to make it happen. What Billy Wagner and Erik and A.J. Robinson have done for this area is just remarkable. Their commitment to this area and its people is beyond words. We are very blessed to have this event and hope everyone has a good, safe evening.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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