WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Call it the “Biden Boom.” Many businesses in Wilmington are seeing sales soar, and they’re attributing it to Joe Biden’s Democratic nomination for president, despite the Democratic National Convention being held virtually. Wednesday marked one week since Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris met together here for their first campaign event, and since then, the city has been bustling with activity.
The phone has been ringing off the hook with takeout orders at Timothy’s Riverfront Grill in Wilmington for the past several days.
“In the First State, we don’t see too many exciting things often,” Matt Longer, a server at the restaurant, said. “So, yeah, it’s definitely a little different than we’re used to.”
While the DNC is being held virtually, hundreds of people have traveled to Wilmington to be close to Biden. There are Secret Service, government aides, and the national media, and all of them need hotel rooms to sleep in.
“It’s a dream come true. The whole hospitality industry has been struggling, so this is at least a boom,” Sarah Willoughby, executive director of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. “It’s not going to solve the last five months, but it’s energizing.”
Willoughby says for the first time since March, some hotels in Wilmington are at or near capacity.
“It’s Joe and Delaware is very Joe Biden,” Willoughby said. “And everybody is supporting Joe coming out.”
Visitors are also stopping by the riverfront to take it all in.
“I’m excited about it. I had it was virtual, though,” Terri Heinrich, of Washington, D.C, said. “So I don’t know what’s going on.”
Those here for Biden also need restaurants to eat in.
Some are calling it the ‘Biden Boom.’ Since the DNC, sales on the rise and hotels are near capacity in #Wilmington.
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) August 19, 2020
Workers at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant on the waterfront say sales are now in the green, which has not happened since February. They’re crediting Biden.
“I think he can continue to do a lot of great things for Delaware,” Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant General Manager Dustin Mitchell said. “There’s hope. There’s chance. It’s a great thing that we’re going to make it and we’re going to do really well.”
The uptick in customers this past week has been a very sweet sight for the owner of the Riverfront Bakery.
“Definitely, there are more people from different states, different cities,” Margaryta Gorshkova, the bakery’s owner, said.
City officials point out Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s great loss is certainly Wilmington’s gain.
“I think long term it’s going to be much better for all of us, I think the stature of the city and the state will be increased.” Mayor Michael Purzycki said.
Purzycki knows Biden well as he went to the University of Delaware with the former Vice President as an undergrad.
“We used to see Joe get up and get out of the dorm room everyday, he always looked like he was going to a job interview,” Purzycki said. “And I was thinking this makes sense because here’s a guy who’s dedicated to this big aspiration his whole life and more to that, I’ll tell you, why I’m so proud of him is that he believes so much in this that at his age he’s willing to put it on the line. It’s not easy.”
While many people in Wilmington for the DNC may be leaving when it’s over this week, some believe that if Biden is elected president that could have a lasting effect on the city.