Thousands of people from all over the country visit the Sports at the Beach complex every weekend throughout the spring, summer and fall to play baseball, and it’s just outside Georgetown, right in the heart of Sussex County.
Lynn Lester, owner of The Brick Hotel on The Circle in Georgetown, says every weekend she has parents, grandparents and sometimes ballplayers staying at the inn. “Over the past four and a half years, we have had guests from all over the country stay with us during their tournaments at Sports at The Beach,” Lester said.
In January 2012, Lynn started working with Sports at the Beach Marketing Manager Adam Pettengell and Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Duffield to see how efforts could be combined to promote tourism in Georgetown. After initial conversations, Sports at the Beach was agreeable to placing a Welcome to Georgetown sign on the complex premises, but the project stalled there.
In April 2013, Lester again pursued the signage project. With some designs in hand, she solicited price quotations and sought funding. Collaboration with the Georgetown chamber was ultimately achieved when it agreed to fund the project to help promote tourism and drive potential business into Georgetown. Lester was also instrumental in securing space in Sports at the Beach’s weekly tournament programs for a welcome letter from Mayor Mike Wyatt.
Because of Lester’s efforts and the cooperation of John Penuel of Penuel Sign Company, Pettengell of Sports at the Beach, and the Georgetown chamber, one of the last things Sports at the Beach visitors see when they are exiting the complex is a large four-by-eight-foot Welcome to Georgetown sign.
Lester said this new signage is not about The Brick at all. Rather, it’s about sending a message to visitors that there is a very historic, quaint town within a five-minute drive west of the complex.
Making Georgetown a destination versus a sleepy little pass-through town has been one of Lester’s goals since she and husband Ed Lester, chose to bring the old Brick Hotel back to life in 2008. “The economy has certainly been a setback for all businesses, but the potential really is still there. The folks that we have stay with us love this town; they are here to have a good time, and they have money to spend. It’s just all about reaching out to all the others and letting them know all that Georgetown has to offer, “ says Lester.
The Town of Georgetown budget does not include any funds for tourism initiatives, and the funds the chamber receives are minimal. Lester said she is inclined to believe she is not alone in recognizing just how popular Sports at the Beach is and how huge this entity could be as a resource for major exposure of the town.
Coupled with the fine lodging and casual restaurant at The Brick, Lester and husband Ed sponsor the monthly Historic Vintage Cruise-in on The Circle and the annual Farmer & Foodie Festival which will be held Sunday, Sept. 22. For more information, go to www.thebrickhotel.com or call Lynn at 302-855-5800.