Virginia Commonwealth Games bring thousands to Lynchburg

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:31 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - After a reduced event last year, the Virginia Commonwealth Games are back in full force this weekend in Lynchburg.

Over 5,000 athletes and their families are here. Many looking for a spot to eat, may need a place to stay, and all of them contribute to the millions of dollars being put back into the city.

The city sponsors the games to help drive traffic to local restaurants and activities.

The Commonwealth Games only had half its events last year in 2020, and still brought in over a million dollars.

On average, over three million dollars is grossed during the weekend of the games.

“That’s a lot of money flowing from all of these athletes and their families that come into the city. Staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, exploring our city while they’re competing in the games,” says Anna Bentson, the Assistant Director for Economic Development and Tourism for the city.

Downtown, staff at the Water Dog is staying busy, serving brews and sandwiches before and after the competitions.

“We knew it was coming; we’re staffed up as much as we can be right now and we’re prepared to have a really busy weekend,” said manager Chris Henderson. “You see jerseys and kids running around everywhere; it’s a really exciting time.”

Businesses say main games weekend right now is the busiest time of year, but they also see an uptick in customers when the games host various events around town.

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