By Rachael Cardin

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Bars, restaurants and hotels are hoping Opening Day for the Orioles knocks their sales out of the park after a tough 2020.

“It’s a sports town, the city, the ambiance here when the games are in town is remarkable,” said Ilemona Salifu, Director of Sales at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

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Sales at the hotel were down 65% last year because of the pandemic. Though protocols have changed, he hopes they will make people feel more comfortable coming out to stay.

“The hotel community here is very ready and we have great measures in place,” Salifu said.

Similarly, bars and restaurants have been hit hard. Sales, revenue, occupancy, profit-all down significantly. This week’s game is a welcome boost.

Tom Leonard runs Pickles Pub, right across the street from Camden Yards and said Opening Day is the day they have all been waiting for.

“We were doing reservations just for the second floor and it’s already full,” he said.

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The indoor capacity in the city is 50% and outside its 75%.

“If you just need to come out if you just need this I mean look at us right now it’s gorgeous sunny you could be right there eating and drinking,” Leonard said.

Visit Baltimore CEO, Al Hutchinson said the O’s are giving the people of Baltimore the positivity we all need right now.

“We’re such a sports passionate community but after last year it’s on steroids we’re really looking forward to opening day this week,” he said.

“They are providing us the platform to come out celebrate the goodness and greatness of Baltimore City but again do it in a very safe way,” Hutchinson added.

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Watch WJZ for an Opening Day Special at 12 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. 

Rachael Cardin