Washington businesses benefiting from Cycle NC crowds

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Cycle NC is wrapping up in the East. 

Thousands of people came to Beaufort County for the event, over 800 camping out along the waterfront alone. 

Business owners in the area said it was a huge success. 

 “It has been great,” manager of Rachel K’s Bakery, Amber Beacham, said. “We actually doubled our sales this weekend.”

The bakery has been preparing all week for the event, extending their store hours and stocking up on supplies. 

“It was an all-hand on deck kind of deal,” Beacham said. 

Bikers enjoyed the bakery’s patio view. 

“They will stop and park their bikes out front, and they will stop on their way through for lunch whenever they get done riding,” Beacham said. 

“I got a loaf of their bread, I got granola,” Ken Deceuster, visiting from Southern Pines, said. “Really a neat little town. I didn’t realize how many things were here or how big the downtown was. I hit a bunch of the restaurants during the week, just had a great time.”

Beacham said there were twice the usual amount of people out in Washington Sunday, and Rachel K’s Baker isn’t the only business that benefitted. 

“I had a gentleman in here from New Zealand, a gentleman in here from Ireland,” director of Contemporary Art Exchange, Tina Jandrew, said. “Atlanta, Michigan, Ohio… It is not likely that someone would spontaneously stumble across Washington coming from Michigan so it has given us a lot of exposure.”

“We got 30 or 40 percent more foot traffic coming through the shop,” owner of South Market Antiques, Pat Stegall, said. “We love anything that brings new people to town because it gives them a chance to see us and know we are here.”

The shops said they hope to see more events like this to boost the economy and get Little Washington on the map. 

“It brings so many people downtown into our businesses and we make so much more money, and just getting Washington’s name out there a little bit helps,” Beacham said.

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