Not just whistling dixie

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As sports fans prepare themselves for a weekend full of Dixie Majors tournament baseball, local businesses are gearing up for what is seen as much needed economic activity for the area.

“We’ll have our rooms all filled up,” said Hope Whittle, operations manager for Holiday Inn Express. “It’s going to help us, and other attractions and restaurants.”

Across the street, at the Best Western, the scene is the same.

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“We are always glad to see children come to town,” said Best Western manager Mary Simmons. “We’re ready for them.”

Simmons said they enjoyed increased business when the last sports tournament came to town. All she is worried about is the weather.

“It’s going to be really hot, but I am sure everything will go okay,” Simmons said. “They can always come back and swim in the pool.”

Twelve teams in all will make the journey to compete at the Greenville Softball Complex. Teams from Opelika, Thomasville, Ashford, Bellingrath, Elba, Monroe County, South Bibb, Smiths Station, Hokes Bluff, Greenville, Alexandria and Crenshaw County will all come for their chance to be crowned state champion.

A mile or so from the softball complex, Ann Edwards, owner of Emily’s Café, said she anticipates a spike in business.

“I’m sure it’s going to bring great things for Greenville,” Edwards said. “It’s great advertising to have people from all over the state of Alabama come through.”

Emily’s Café had entertained ideas of staying open Saturday and Sunday, but Edwards said they have a wedding shower and other obligation that will not allow them to.

“We will be open as much as we can, because of course we want the business,” Edwards said.

Edwards said that patrons should check for a sign outside her restaurant, as they will be offering extended hours as business dictates.

Opening ceremonies are on Friday at 7 p.m. with a homerun derby to follow. The tournament concludes on Thursday, July 29.