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BETHALTO – Over the years, Bethalto has been progressive with economic growth, focusing on the things to make the community viable for business interests.

Another example occurred recently when Game Day USA held an all-star evaluation weekend at the Bethalto Sports Complex.

Game Day USA officials were full of positive things to say about Bethalto, its mayor, his staff, and the people in the village.

Don Flynn, a vice president with Game Day USA, said the Village of Bethalto and those in the area were so gracious to them.

Jeff Allsman and Mayor (Alan) Winslow were a joy to work with,” he said. “The fields and the complex here are wonderful.”

Flynn said the time at Bethalto in Bethalto Sports Complex was a culmination of play, with only the very best in their competition selected to be there.

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“It is a lot of fun for the players,” he said. “We evaluate the players for an all-star game at Disney in Orlando. We take about 15 players from the weekend in Bethalto to Disney.”

Players performed a variety of drills for evaluators and also played in game situations. There was a home run derby, which is always one of the most fun parts of the weekend, Flynn said.

Winslow said his staff worked hard with the tournaments. “Typically when we have any of these out of town tournaments, we do get a lot of feedback from local businesses stocking additional inventory and using more staff. We do see some impact at restaurants, fuel stations, pharmacies, and places like that.”

Winslow said Bethalto is ripe to add some hotels and he hopes some developers see that with Interstate 255 wrapped around the village.

“We had people here from West Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota and Indiana during the Game Day USA event,” he said. “A lot of them were staying as far away as Edwardsville. This is something that needs to be addressed and with the anticipated development here, we are optimistic a hotel could be one of the features here.”

Winslow and his staff talk an immense amount before big tournaments come to the village. He said the remarkable hospitality is by design by his staff.

“We knew coming into this year the size and scope of some of the tournaments and needed to roll out the red carpet,” he said. “We want those who come here to know we are thrilled to have them here and come back.”

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