CAMPGROUNDS NEAR Morristown have already welcomed travelers from near and far, and soon Belmont County's population for this week will nearly double.
It's time once again for the Superbowl of Country Music.
Jamboree In The Hills has brought the world's top country music acts to our own back yard for nearly four decades. In turn, the popular annual event has attracted hundreds of thousands of diehard fans from across the country to the area as well.
Everyone in the nation has been feeling the effects of our struggling economy, but for most fans of Jamboree In The Hills, the annual excursion isn't something that's even considered when cutbacks for the year are eyed. When folks look at their budgets for the year, true Jambo fans are likely to make the mid-July pilgrimage a high priority.
With that being said, it's safe to guess that JITH may be the one time of the year when many people will have their chance to get away and let loose.
We hope all Jamboree fans have a safe, fun-filled and unforgettable time. We also hope our local residents extend a warm welcome to this week's mass of visitors, most of whom will be ready to spend a generous chunk of their vacation savings for the year in the coming days.
JITH has not only become an annual summer tradition for the Ohio Valley, but it also provides a significant annual economic spark for Belmont County. It's a huge boost to the area in terms of tourism-fueled revenues. Many retailers benefit from the flood of additional dollars being funneled into the local economy for the week, as do the local hotels, which are undoubtedly booked full.
The Belmont County Tourism Council reaps the benefits of increased hotel tax revenues, and that board gives a significant amount of that money directly back to the local community every year. Even the new Belmont County Fairground property on Roscoe Road will be bustling with Jamboree campers who rent sites directly from a public entity.
Overall, it's a boost we can all use.
We welcome the throng of country music fans back to the area, and we hope everyone enjoys Jamboree In The Hills 2012.