Hotels, motels and restaurants will see big business
More than 500 players, parents, umpires and Babe Ruth league officials from all over will begin pouring into town for a week-long regional tournament.
Ten teams from California, Arizona, Nevada Utah, Hawaii and Guam will be competing next week to earn a berth in the Babe Ruth league world Series next month in Minot, North Dakota.
It's going to be a huge boost for Taft, local officials say, both in direct economic benefits and to show the community and its attractions and sports facilities.
The Taft City Council even passed a resolution declaring July 21-28 Babe Ruth Baseball Regional Championship Week in Taft, saying the Tournament will give Taft an opportunity to "share our hometown hospitality and will bring hundreds of people to the area producing a welcome economic stimulus to the west side."
Taft's hotels, motels and restaurants are going to see a major benefit from the 2019 Babe Ruth League's 13-15 Pacific Southwest Championship.
"With 10 teams of young men, their coaches and families, descending upon our fair City for at least seven days, how can we possibly not look at the Babe Ruth Pacific Southwest Regionals as a boom for our town--with regard to both tourism and economics?" Taft District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathy Orrin asked. "We have a unique chance to make positive memories that will make people want to come back to Taft."
Les Clark III is the tournament director and Rec District administrator. He's also the president of the Chamber's Board of Directors.
Clark started working months ago in conjunction with the Bakersfield Northwest League to bring the tournament to Taft.
""Les Clark has had this vision for a Babe Ruth Pacific Southwest Regionals in our town for a long time," Orrin said. "He started the ball rolling for this year's contest over seven months ago. Now it is a reality. We really are going to host thousands of people in our town! What an opportunity!"
Clark said at least two of Taft's hotels are going to be packed with players and their families (up to 50 rooms at the Best western have been booked for the tourney, he said.
In addition, the visitors will be eating at local restaurants during the tournament, boosting local businesses even more.
Another is to show off what Taft has to offer, ranging from tourist attractions to sports facilities.
Games will be played on Taft Union High School's Monty Reedy Baseball Complex and the fields are in great shape, Clark said.
In fact, they already impressed some out-of-town visitors, he said.
An Australian youth baseball team has been playing in Kern County recently, and they played here against the Bakersfield Northwest Little league team Tuesday night.
"Australia was amazed at the field and really appreciated the town and the high school field and the hospitality were were able to show them," Clark said.