An estimated 3,000 cyclists peddled into Washington Court House on Wednesday for the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure.
After settling into “GOBAville” – a “tent city” at the Washington Senior High School –, many cyclists boarded shuttle buses to visit downtown Washington Court House. Six buses total, three buses from Miami Trace Local School District and three buses from Fayette Progressive Industries, serviced from GOBAville to downtown Washington Court House for nine hours on Wednesday.
Local shop owners were overwhelmed by the constant flow of visitors into their businesses. “There were visitors from Akron (Ohio) who said that my store wasn’t too far from their home and that they could drive here (to shop)” said PS Wights – located at 251 South Court Street – owner Pam Wightman. “I loved it. It was great. I wish our downtown was always like this”
“There was one customer whose wife’s birthday was next week. He came into the shop alone and bought an outfit for her birthday”
Wightman said that cyclists who visited to her shop were commenting on how the bulk of the cyclists participating in GOBA were not venturing into downtown on Wednesday because they needed rest, but on Thursday, the majority of GOBA cyclists should be visiting the downtown.
“I believe tomorrow we’re going to be busier” said Wighman. Although she was prepared for many visitors on Wednesday, Wightman said she has had to hire extra employees to help with Thursday’s expected foot traffic into downtown.
PS Wights is offering 25% off for customers with a GOBA wristband.
Brenda Bonzo, owner of Fast Lane Grill – located at 202 East Court Street –, said that her visitors were in the high hundreds and that it’s possibly the busiest her restaurant has ever been. As expected, Bonzo said her top selling food items were salads and her signature “Fast Lane Burger”.
Fast Lane Grill will have extended hours Thursday evening to accommodate the thousands of cyclists expected to flock downtown Washington Court House for the Street Festival, which is being hosted by The Alliance for a Prosperous Downtown (A.P.D.), on Main Street from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Fat Daddy’s will have burgers and brats on the grill and there’s also a beer garden).
“Fast Lane will take customers to GOBAville on Thursday evening if they’re at the restaurant after the shuttle buses cease operations for the evening at 10 p.m.” said Bonzo.
If you want something that’s not on the menu at Fast Lane Grill, and it’s in reason, just ask Bonzo and her staff will prepare it. “We had customers ask for pies, so we’re making them pies” she said.
Fast Lane Grill is currently offering 10% off their already low prices to GOBA cyclists.
Other downtown shops are offering specials, too.
Deblin Design – located at 121 East Court Street – is offering $4.00 shipping on any purchases under $49. Those who spend $50 or more, will receive free shipping. Deblin Design is also offering 10% off on bicycle themed jewelery.
Fayette Art with Antiques and more will be offering 25% off all art and craft supplies. 25% off their already low prices for custom framing orders.
DejaVu Boutique, an upscale consignment store, will be offering 20% off new and consigned fashion home décor, found objects, handmade one of a kind artisan items, and so much more!
Roger Blackburn, President of the Fayette County Chambers of Commerce, said GOBA is estimated to bring $80,000 into the local economy.
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