When the JCC Maccabi Games start next week, over 1,230 athletes will spend their days around Rockland County to compete in various sporting events.
They will also be and enjoying nighttime activities tied into the games.
Family members of those athletes, however, will have some time on their hands, and that could mean a mid-August boom for some local businesses.
While most businesses won’t know if they see an increase in customers until the families actually arrive, a few have already seen positive effects from the games coming to Rockland.
“Last year around this time we were running about 100 rooms a night,” said Tsilla Flint, sales director for Nanuet’s Comfort Inn & Suites. “We have a 70-room block reserved for the Maccabi Games, and that’s all sold out. The event is helping us fill the hotel.”
Flint said they started to receive room reservations for the block of rooms about six or seven months ago.
“We filled up very quickly after that,” she said.
Comfort Inn & Suites is one of the hotels listed on the JCC Maccabi Games Rockland website as conveniently located. The Candlewood Suites is another hotel listed on the JCC site. Mary Garcia, general manager of Nanuet’s Candlewood Suites, said they have 20-plus rooms booked for JCC Maccabi Games families and could have another 20-30 rooms available.
“A lot of our business is extended stay customers,” Garcia said. “So we’ll have to see if some people extend their stays to really say how many rooms we’ll have open that week.”
For those looking for somewhere to go in Rockland for fun, Garcia said they usually tell people to go to Nyack. She also said they tell people about that Bear Mountain, West Point and New York City are fairly close.
Flint said each room will have a guide from the Rockland Office of Tourism listing restaurants and attractions in the county. She said the hotel has a restaurant, which they think might get busy once the crowd starts to arrive.
“We expect Sunday to be very busy,” Garcia said. “We expect everybody to look for places to dine.”
One nearby restaurant that could see some increased business is Franco’s Pizza, located just a little bit further down Route 59 from the Hampton Inn, the third hotel listed on the JCC site. Franco’s is located in the Thruway Plaza on Route 59.
“We get people in here staying [at the Hampton Inn] all the time,” said Al Pulitano, one of the owners of the restaurant. “Whenever they have events going on and a lot of people stay there, a lot of people come in here. They have a really great front desk that directs people to us.”
Pulitano said Franco’s sees a pretty steady stream of customers throughout the year and from month to month.
“Over the summer, people do go away, though, and things like this help us hold steady,” he said. “It certainly can’t hurt.”