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ND's visit fills local hotels to capacity

by Greg Talkington

SPORTS WRITER

While Notre Dame's appearance this Saturday in Morgantown to play West Virginia has stirred plenty of excitement, the economics of the Irish's visit won't have any more impact than a normal sell-out, according to Terry Jones, President of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce.

"Whenever there's a sell-out, everything is booked solid around here," Jones said. "So as far as an economic impact goes, Notre Dame doesn't bring any more than say a Miami or Ohio State or when Penn State used to come here."

Jones said a sell-out game usually means good business for hotels as far north as Washington, Pa., and as far south as Weston.

Marion County Convention and Visitor's Bureau head Marianne Moran said the only difference she has noted was that hotels filled up much faster for this game.

"There haven't been any rooms available for weeks," Moran said. "We had a man call here a few days ago and I called around to Harrison County, and they're all booked up, too.

"The manager of the local Days Inn said he's referring people to the hotel in Flatwoods."

Moran noted the only time this doesn't happen is when WVU is having a bad season.

"When West Virginia is having a good season, virtually all the hotels in the area are full or at least 95 percent full on home game weekends," she said. "Sometimes, when they're losing, that will drop off to maybe 80 percent."

Still, Moran said Notre Dame's visit will be good for many restaurants.

"If I owned a restaurant, I'd definitely have a lot of extra help around 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon," Moran said.

The Notre Dame team and staff will be staying in Washington, Pa., Friday night.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at gtalkington@exponent-telegram.com.

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