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Thurmont Businesses Hope G-8 Summit Will Help Boost Sales

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THURMONT, Md. (WJZ)—A number of local and independent small businesses in the area of Camp David are counting on an economic boost from the G-8 Summit.

Mike Hellgren has the story.

In addition to eight of the world’s most powerful leaders, the population of tiny Thurmont –near the doorstep to Camp David–will swell with journalists, demonstrators and spectators, bringing dollars to the economy there.

“Well, the small businesses hope it’s a huge impact, the restaurants, the hotels,” said Dave Eddy, local radio host.  “It’s a unique time anytime the president or a group such as this comes to Camp David.”

But Vickie Grinder with the Camp David Museum and Cozy Country Inn has another concern.

“I can only compare it to the Mideast peace talks in the late 90s with the Clinton administration. People were not afraid to come out. They weren’t afraid of the protesters. Again that was prior to 9/11. We’ve had over a hundred phone calls at the Cozy over the last several days. ‘Is it safe to come?’ It’s going to be safe. I said ‘Don’t be afraid and don’t believe everything you read,’” Grinder said.

At Mountain Memories gift shop nearby, owner Pat Manahan hopes for an uptick in sales. She’s got a few stories for her customers.

“The biggest scare I’ve ever had was the first time I moved in here. The FBI agents came in here. That back window was a perfect side so when Clinton come up [the fear was]  somebody could stand in that window and shoot at him,” Manahan explained.

The G-8 Summit is having an impact on communities nearby too, including Frederick. The region prides itself as a destination for American history buffs.

“We’re really looking at the long-term impact that we’ll see from the added exposure,” said John Fieseler, Tourism Council.

The red, white and blue is making some extra green and putting Maryland in the world spotlight.

“I say come on out and see a piece of history,” Grinder said.

Along with the excitement, there is also some apprehension.

One local woman says she’s angry that the summit will take place at Camp David because it shuts down part of the town. Others are concerned about the traffic and how they’re going to get to work in the morning.

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