May 22, 2014 — President Barack Obama is speaking this hour at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to highlight the economic benefits of the tourism industry.
Main Street in Cooperstown is only a few blocks long. Most of the storefronts here sell gifts and baseball gear. Their livelihood depends on the hundreds of thousands of visitors the hall of fame and its baseball field bring here.
Jennifer Howard owns Cooperstown Classics souvenir shop. She says the next three months of summer are the shop's busy season. And she hopes the president's visit will make it even busier.
"We love Cooperstown and we hope people come to visit. And we hope everybody enjoys having the president here today. I know we're excited about it and hopefully it will generate some more tourism for our area and every area that he visits."
The Hall of Fame attracts nearly 300,000 visitors a year, but attendance has declined over the past decade. Tourism spending nationwide is up though. And the president this morning signed an executive order aimed to speed up entry times for visitors at major U.S. airports.