July 25, 2007
It is the sixth time Camp Jeep has been held in Nelson County. Organizers said every time it's not here people ask when are they going back to Virginia. The welcoming feeling is mutual. Nelson County business owners welcomed these jeep drivers with open arms.
"What we've found is that Charlottesville offers us all the things that we need make a successful camp jeep," said Jodi Tison, Jeep Spokesperson.
Add up mountain trails, a welcoming venue, and a location in the mid-atlantic and it equals a big event that just keeps coming back.
"It's the largest event that we have coming to the county," said Harry Harris, Nelson County Board of Supervisor Member.
Every where you look jeeps, jeeps, and more jeeps.
"We have a saying it's a jeep thing you wouldn't understand," said Tison.
Nelson County understands, it's expected over 2,900 jeeps will roll into town this week, which translate into 10,00 visitors and 10,000 wallets.
"It's great for businesses, restaurants, motels, bed and breakfasts," said Harris.
Back in 2004, 5,000 rooms were rented for four nights totaling nearly $2 million spent to sleep well and additional retail sales topped out at a $1.5 million.
Add it all up and Nelson County pocketed over $3 million for hosting a fun four days.
Harris said you won't hear any locals complaining, it's money kept in their pocket.
"Possibility of less of a need for a tax increase when we can bring in this kind of revenue and help ease the burden on the taxes," Harris said.
Daimler Chrysler spent $500,000 to attract attendance back in 2004, which county officials said helped them even more and really put Nelson County on the map.
Camp Jeep will affect parking in downtown Charlottesville starting Thursday.
The lower Water Street parking lot will be closed from 6:00 am Thursday through much of the day Monday 30th. The city market will still be open.
However, city officials say your best bet is to use the parking ramp.