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Tournaments big for city

NAYO, NASA contests to help bring sales tax revenue here

The Native American Youth Organization (NAYO) and Native American Sports Association (NASA) baseball and softball tournaments taking place next week and in August will make a big economic impact on Atmore, city officials said.

The NAYO tournament, which is a baseball and softball tournament, is slated to take place July 20-22 and will be held at the Poarch Creek Reservation and the Atmore Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth Fields. The NASA tournament, an adult softball tournament, is slated for Aug. 10-12. Both tournaments will bring more than 130 teams from the eastern part of the United States.

Atmore Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth League President Murray Johnson said Tribal members have participated in the baseball programs for more than 40 years, and the economic impact the tournaments will bring is tremendous.

“We are eager and anxious to assist in an endeavor of this size,” Johnson said. “This has a tremendous economic impact on our community. I don’t know of anything that has been brought to Atmore that brings more participants that their family members with the Tribal members.

“There will be a huge number of people here,” he said. “We’re excited to be a part of this.”

In addition to bringing a lot of people into Atmore, the amount of sales tax revenue for the city is going to be big, Johnson said.

One way the tournaments will help is through the city’s lodging tax.

The city of Atmore collects at 10 percent lodging tax per room per stay at each of the four hotels within the city limits. The city collects a 5 percent lodging tax from the Royal Oaks Bed and Breakfast.

Hotel managers within the city limits said that they are booked solid for both tournaments, with one saying that people are calling every day wanting to see if rooms are available.

There are 81 rooms in the Hampton Inn; 88 rooms in Muskogee Inn; 84 rooms in Fairfield Inn and Suites; and 80 rooms in the Holiday Inn Express. The city doesn’t draw any lodging tax from Wind Creek Casino and Hotel.

Mayor Jim Staff said both tournaments will impact the city in a big way economically.

“This will bring tax dollars,” he said. “It’ll have a huge impact because people are going to buy food and need a place to stay.”