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UVA Bicentennial Brings Visitors, Money into City

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Restaurants are seeing a surge for the bicentennial Restaurants are seeing a surge for the bicentennial
Rich Ridge, co-owner of the Fitzroy Rich Ridge, co-owner of the Fitzroy
Hotels like the Homewood Suites are also experiencing a surge Hotels like the Homewood Suites are also experiencing a surge
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Thousands of alumni and visitors are in Charlottesville for the weekend of October 7-8 for the launch of the university's bicentennial.

Hotels and businesses - from the University of Virginia’s Corner to the Downtown Mall - are gladly welcoming these guests.

The University of Virginia bicentennial launch is creating a buzz throughout Charlottesville.

“All weekend it’s just been great,” says Rich Ridge, co-owner of the Fitzroy.

An estimated 22,000 people are expected to attend bicentennial events over the weekend.

This influx of visitors has many area hotels fully booked, and restaurants happily serving large parties of guests.

“You can definitely feel it down here on the Downtown Mall with our windows here that we can open up,” says Ridge. “We just see all the people walking through, and there’s definitely a great energy down here this weekend.”

The large influx of visitors is bringing a noticeable uptick in sales at restaurants and bars.

“When there’s more people in town, there’s more people that want to get lunch, dinner, and come out and enjoy the nightlife here,” says Ridge. “So I think we’re well-poised and we see it all day long - just all the extra folks in here - and to be able to bring them in and provide some hospitality for them, that means a lot to us.”

Hotels are also cashing in on UVA’s weekend events.

“People are excited it seems, like with the weather, football, and the bicentennial a lot of people are talking about it, it’s something new and different to celebrate,” says Kelly Wells of Homewood Suites.

Practically every hotel in the city is fully booked, thanks to bicentennial guests.

“It helped us a lot in a lot of great ways because we're sold out as well as our sister property - the Hilton Garden Inn on Pantops – they’re sold out also,” says Wells. “We get people from all over and they come to the property, and they come to the area.”

Thanks to the university’s bicentennial celebration, Charlottesville is receiving a positive economic impact.

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