Auction helps spark commerce in the community
August 11, 2010 | 08:51 AM
Walworth — The Gone Farmin' Tractor Auction brought more than antique and specialty farm equipment to the village.
It also lured people to town, who spent money in the area.
Several restaurants reported increase business because of the auction.
Sam Asani, owner of the restaurant Sammy's on the Square, 105 Madison St., said the auction brought in more customers.
Asani said he thought the day would be slow day because of the Rotary Corn and Brat Festival happening across the street from his restaurant.
"It turned out to be a regular Saturday," Asani said. "It kind of evened it out."
During the one-day auction, more than 200 vintage tractors were sold at Mecum Auctions, 445 S. Main St.
Mecum, specializes in the sale of muscle, classic and high-end collector cars. It hosts auctions throughout the country.
Ray Watson, owner of Ray's Pit Stop, 117 Kenosha St., said the auction had a positive effect on his businesses.
"I had good business, a little bit better than normal," Watson said.
However, some additional commerce didn't spill over to Fontana restaurants.
Pam Carper, a co-owner of Georgie B's, 441 Mill St., said she didn't have auction attendees visit her restaurant.
Although the auction brought more people to the area, it didn't necessarily have a huge effect on the local hotels.
However, that's not because people didn't want to stay in town, it was because the hotels already were booked.
"We were kind of booked this weekend regardless," said Zoran Atlija owner of the Fontana Village Inn, 100 Dewey Ave.
Atlija said people in town for the auction wanted rooms, but he had to direct them to other hotels.
"If it was during the week, we would feel it, but our weekends are pretty much booked because of weddings and family reunions," he said.
Allen Anderson, director of marketing for the Abbey Resort and Avani Spa, 269 Fontana Ave., said there were no rooms at the resort.
"We were sold out for this weekend for sometime," Anderson said. "We weren't able to realize any benefit from it because we were pretty well-booked."
However, Anderson said he is excited to see the auction in the area.