The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

November 7, 2009

Penn State football kicks $59M into region

Teen baker sells $2K in cookies

MIFFLINBURG -- The economic effect of Penn State football games can be felt 40 miles away from Beaver Stadium, where a western Union County teenager capitalizes on sweet-toothed Route 45 motorists heading to University Park on Saturdays.

While operating David’s Awesome Cookies, 15-year-old David Beiler takes a nibble from the $59 million economic impact Penn State football has on Central Pennsylvania.

On weekends when the Nittany Lions play at home — such as this one, when No. 15 Ohio State visits No. 11 Penn State at 3:30 p.m. today — David will sell 350 dozen cookies from the front porch of his home on Route 45 west of Mifflinburg.

At $5 a dozen, David will rake in about $1,750.

David opens for business at 3:30 p.m. Fridays, after he finishes school, and begins his Saturday at 5:30 a.m. when the Nittany Lions are at home at 108,000-seat Beaver Stadium.

“We see a lot of cars on the road that day,” he said. “More than normal. We get pretty busy.”

On Thursday nights, the Beiler household bakes up to 4,000 cookies in a makeshift home bakery built by David’s father, Samuel.

Some travelers en route to the game will order ahead and pick up boxes of cookies on the way to tailgating, Samuel Beiler said.

“A few weeks ago, we had a York customer pick up 20 dozen cookies on his way to the game,” David Beiler added.

David closes his cookie business when the football team finishes its home schedule. Eight of Penn State’s 12 regular-season games this fall will be played at Beaver Stadium.

“We’ll pick up again in April,” David said of Penn State’s spring Blue-White intrasquad game.

Penn State football also means big business for taverns, hotels and restaurants in the Valley.

When the Nittany Lions play at Beaver Stadium, “People who tailgate, and who want to avoid using I-80, will use our roads, stop for food in the morning and on the way back home eat in our restaurants and fast food outlets,” said Andrew Miller, executive director of the Susquehanna River Valley Visitor’s Bureau.

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