HAMILTON, Ohio — For decades, Hamilton’s identity was rooted in paper. Now, it’s taking a page from the past, and looking ahead to the future.
More than 200 Ford Model T cars have been around Butler County this week as part of the annual Model T Ford Club International tour.
Tracy Kocher, vice president of communications and marketing for Travel Butler County, said the addition of Spooky Nook Champion Mill is the reason the tour came to the Tri-State.
“The requirements for the event are that they have to be far enough from major interstates and major roads," Kocher said. "Spooky Nook is a perfect location. A lot of space that can be used for the event. And a lot of hotel rooms. That was the difference maker to bring this here to Butler County."
Kocher anticipates the convention to bring in about $750,000 for the local economy.
“The ripple effect of tourism is incredible,” she said. “They stay in a hotel. They eat at restaurants. They go to businesses.”
Kocher said this is the first of many conventions the facility will host.
Business owners, like Brad Baker of Hamilton’s Pinball Garage, said they’ve been anticipating the athletic facility, hotel, and convention center’s opening for years. His business recently renovated a second arcade area in the same building.
“This is just a small taste of huge things to come for us," Baker said. "Hence the brand new expansion for us — ease the pressure of all the people coming in, more seating and a lot more games."
Once Spooky Nook’s sports facility opens, county leaders expect more than 10,000 people every weekend to come to Hamilton.
“With our expansion, I’m scared that it’s going to be too crazy. It’s not a bad thing to be packed all the time. When there’s weekend tournaments, or games going on, there could be 20,000-30,000 people downtown looking for stuff to do,” said Baker. “Will I have enough space for everybody? You hate to turn people away. It’s looking like they’ll bring those types of crowds to downtown. I’d rather have that than nobody here at all.”
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