People continue to weigh in regarding the economic impact the Ohio Valley will suffer this summer when Jamboree In The Hills does not happen.
Live Nation announced the country music festival would go “on hiatus” in 2019, and that the future of the event remains uncertain.
Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas says the Jamboree always hired dozens of off-duty deputies as well as officers from neighboring counties to provide security for the event, which was a nice opportunity for them to augment their pay.
He says now that money will be gone.
“If they’re losing money, they can’t continue on,” said Sheriff Lucas. “But on the other hand, this is a big economic hit for us here in Belmont County.”
And the executive director of Wheeling’s Convention and Visitors Bureau says the effect will go beyond state lines.
“In July, those numbers are not going to be there anymore,” noted Frank O’Brien. “When hundreds of thousands of people go somewhere, millions of dollars are spent. And basically when they don’t have that event, that money won’t be coming here.”
They both said the impact would be felt by every gas station, convenience store, motel, eatery and even big box store on both sides of the river.
They also said they hope some agreement can be worked out to save the event in some form in the future.