The Keystone State Games are returning, and local leaders say that's a big win for York County.
Pennsylvania's largest youth sports tournament will be held at several venues throughout the city and county during the third week of July in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
As part of the agreement to host the games, York County will also welcome the 2016 Pennsylvania Senior Games. York will be the first city where the Keystone Games and Senior Games are combined.
The events will mean a total economic impact of about $42 million to the local area, said Anne Druck, president of the York County Convention & Vistors Bureau.
"This is 10 days of moms, dads, siblings and grandparents spending money in York County," she said.
The local industries seeing the biggest boost will be restaurants, retail and lodging, Druck said.
But it's also a chance to tout the great facilities here, local leaders said.
The Keystone Games will be played at about 30 different venues throughout the county, said Owen Costello, CEO of the state games.
Utz Arena and the York Fairgrounds will host nine sports, Central York High School will host aquatic events, York City Ice Arena will host hockey, and several local schools and parks will be used.
"A lot of other areas don't have the facilities York has. There are nice clusters of facilities here, and parents don't have to drive 45 minutes between events," Costello said.
The event will bring in 6,000 athletes and thousands more spectators, he said.
Mayor Kim Bracey said she expects an extra 21,000 visitors in York City during the games, which is a benefit to restaurants and retailers downtown, such as Central Market and the shops on Beaver Street.
The games were previously held in York County during summers in 2005 through 2010 and were a huge boost to the community.
They yield a direct economic impact of about $24 million, which is about half of the overall economic impact, the CVB reported.
"That's from people spending dollars on Beaver Street and Route 30, eating and shopping here. It's an incredible achievement for York," said state Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City.
Schreiber, who served as the city's community and economic development director for seven years before taking state office, worked on the previous Keystone Games in York.
"It's a blast. The games bring in people of all ages and all walks of life who explore our heritage, arts and restaurants. It's Pennsylvania's version of the Olympics," he said.
—Reach Candy Woodall at email@example.com.