Country Crossings may have negative impact on local businesses

Central Point, Ore. — While thousands of people are enjoying the Country Crossings Music Festival, one Central Point business’s profits are actually taking a hit.

“It’s been very slow,” Don Drager of Mary’s BBQ Place said. “We thought it would bring people into town, and Central Point, but I think with the way the general admission parking is out in White City, and being shuttled in, people just aren’t leaving the venue.”

Kainalu Cuico is up from Long Beach, California with his sister and friends for the festival this weekend. They decided to venture out and try a local restaurant.

“Mary’s barbecue is good,” Cuico said. “We were just looking up stuff online and it had a lot of good reviews on Yelp.”

Drager noted that’s often how people find the restaurant.

“That’s how it happens, when we talked about our business, it’s a lot of people on Yelp, they’re yelping and then that’s how they find us, the people that are traveling up and down I5,” Drager said.

But even with an influx of 20,000 people or more each day of the festival, Drager said the group is only their second customers from the festival since it started Thursday.

“Generally on a Friday, it’s very steady,” Drager said. “Our lunches are very busy, our dinners are very steady, so there’s people in and out the door all day long.”

While it doesn’t appear to be the norm, Cuico and his group say they wanted to try something new, and they’re grateful they ventured into downtown Central Point.

“We wanted to like, taste local foods, and go see local spots, whether it be by the river, or whatever it is, just because we’re only going to be in town for a little while,” Cuico said.

In an interview last year, Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer speculated the festival would have a significant economic impact. Those final numbers won’t be in until well after the event.

Natalie Weber produces and anchors the weekend broadcasts of NBC5 News at 6 and 11. She reports during the week for NBC5 News at 5 and 6. Natalie is also the spokesperson for S.O. Close to Homeless, a community discussion on homelessness in our region, started by Access and NBC5 News.

Natalie began her career in journalism as an intern with NBC5 News during her senior year at South Medford High School. Following graduation, she was promoted to Producer for the morning news broadcast for NBC’s sister station, FOX26, then to Producer for NBC5 News at Sunrise.

Natalie took a break from news to work for the Medford Police Department as a Records Specialist. However, she missed the fast-paced environment of the newsroom. Natalie moved back to her hometown of Eureka, California to start her on-air career with North Coast News KAEF ABC23 before returning once again to NBC5 News.

Natalie attended Southern Oregon University. She enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as running, reading and exploring Southern Oregon.

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