By Sally Voth firstname.lastname@example.org
It wasn't just bargain hunters and those selling off their unwanted things who benefited from this past weekend's Shenandoah County Yard Crawl.
Hotels and restaurants saw an upswing in business from Saturday's annual sale. Booths and tables were set up all along U.S. 11 and some side streets between Stephens City and New Market.
"It's always a super day for us," said Jean Sherrard, who owns Woodstock Cafe and Shops with her husband, Coe. "It's one of our biggest days of the year. It brings a lot of people in, a lot of people that have never been in here before. A lot of people use our bathroom, but that gets them in the door.
"It's always a fantastic day for us, and it's festive, and we like that."
Sherrard said they were prepared with plenty of food to serve.
"It seems like people either start at the very northern tip or the very bottom tip and around lunchtime they get to Woodstock" ready for lunch and cool air, she said.
The Quality Inn in New Market "stayed pretty well booked," said Dennis Hampton, who works the front desk.
"We did have quite a few people from out of state," he said.
The situation was the same at the Holiday Inn Express in Stephens City.
"We were sold out," front desk clerk Warren Downing said. "We were sold out since 11 o'clock that day [Saturday]. I had people coming from Arkansas, a couple from Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, New York, of course, Pennsylvania also."
Maurertown was one of the more congested areas of the crawl, and that added up to big business for Brothers Pizza & Subs.
"[We] probably doubled in business," owner Brian Miller said. "It's just a bunch of walk-in customers. It was actually crazy-busy. On that day, you've got to double up on your staff."
Shenandoah County Tourism and Marketing Director Natalie Wills said the Yard Crawl section on her department's website had 2,500 more page views this year than last year -- 6,500.
"The weather held out," she said. "That's a huge factor. We're just kind of restructuring now, and regrouping and seeing where we go from here for next year."
Next year's Yard Crawl date has already been set -- Aug. 10 -- Wills said.