BELLEFONTE — While some visitors have steered clear of the historic borough during the Jerry Sandusky trial, Gary Hoover said he has still greeted his share of folks stopping by and media members who he said have treated the town well.
Hoover is the executive director of the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce, and his office is stationed a few blocks from the Centre County Courthouse where the trial has drawn national attention.
He said hes seen fewer visitors stop in, because theyre concerned about parking and congestion, with the multitude of satellite trucks parked up the street.
But Hoover said things have run smoothly, and parking isnt as bad as the perception.
Just before the trial started, Hoover got a call that places around the borough needed more stacks of Chamber brochures, after media representatives depleted the stacks. He said he found four parking spaces available around town.
You dont have to walk any further than if you park at the mall, he said.
Instead of the usual visitors, Hoover has greeted media representatives, who he said have been very friendly and cooperative. And hes pleased with the press Bellefonte has received, separating the borough from the trial.
Everyone realizes this is only here because were the county seat, he said, adding that officials believe everyone deserves a fair trial.
Of the regular visitors who do stop in, Hoover said some dont have a clue about the Sandusky case. Theyve told him theyre stopping halfway to somewhere else, looking for somewhere different to spend a little time.
He commended borough and county officials for their careful planning that has left Bellefonte mostly unaffected logistically.
We didnt know what to expect, he said. It was really a masterful job, keeping everything flowing.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter