WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The cancellation of the Big E means visitors won’t be paying to park at local businesses and even people’s homes in September.
Each year, the Big E generates millions of dollars for the local economy. Local businesses rely on the fair every September for a boost, whether its through sales or parking.
- Related: Town, fair officials believe canceling The Big E was the safest decision amid COVID-19 pandemic
Rocky’s Ace Hardware is one of many businesses that section off their parking lot for Big E guests. They said it’ll be a big loss not having that revenue, just like it will for local residents who use their property for big e parking.
“We usually do try to capitalize on the parking. This year will be a little different not having the foot traffic. But a lot of the locals and the neighbors around here,” said Store Manager Joe Ovelheiro at Rocky’s Ace Hardware.
Ovelheiro didn’t have a specific figure, but he told 22News the revenue made from Big E parking is significant and they also typically get in-store business from out of state visitors.
Storrowton Tavern is located right on the fairgrounds. The restaurant gets 25 percent of its yearly revenue from the two weeks of The Big E’s operation. The owner of the restaurant told 22News that Storrowton Tavern will have to get creative to make up for the lost revenue.
“We are already trying to come up with some fun ideas to at least get some people to come in here and pretend like it’s the Big E that’s our plan right now but it all just happened so you know it’s going to be a process that’s for sure,” said Vincent Calvanese.
Storrowton Tavern is usually closed the whole week of July 4th but they will remain open except for the actual holiday.
The restaurant is open for both indoor and outdoor dining Tuesday through Sunday.