Tournament dollars for Bangor area businesses

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The return of high school basketball to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor during February break saw thousands of people descend upon the city.

Area businesses greeted them with open arms.

“It was pretty thunderous. It was, it was a lot. I think that everybody in this area should have felt some kind of the benefit of having the games back at Cross Center,” said John Hafford, Seasons general manager.

Seasons in Bangor is just one of many spots visitors decided to frequent.

“Well, it’s great to have people back in town, you know, just around town, is busy around town, is busy in here. People driving through. Nice to see old faces, new faces. That was great,” said Kevin Kelly, Downeast Toyota general manager.

“They were glad to be back out watching movies and doing their normal lives instead of being cooped up at home and doing nothing, I guess,” said Henry Boudreau, Movie Rocket.

Out on the town, they found many ways to pass the time.

“I think Saturday night was very comparable to a New Year’s Eve here. It was those kinds of numbers on the gaming floor, that kind of business, that kind of excitement out there. So, it was great to have on essentially a random day in February,” said Daniel Dickinson, Hollywood Casino casino operations.

“It was definitely pre-pandemic. Without a doubt, especially inside sales because also, too, we had banquets and stuff going as well. So, a lot of that is people coming out still being able to celebrate. We had birthday parties, other parties as well, to just get togethers and those are parties of 30 to 70. There was a lot of people,” said Hafford.

“I think just people are out. You think about what the sun does for people, what the weather does people. You know, COVID seems to be on a downslide a little bit based on what the CDC is telling us, so, yeah, I think there’s better feelings out and about,” said Kelly.

“Oh, it’s great. It’s great, especially the last few years that we’ve been through and all this stuff. We look back, and it wasn’t that long ago where we had all the large restrictions that we’re working under, and we just couldn’t have those busy days because we couldn’t have the people here. So, seeing that again is so exciting,” said Dickinson.

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