LIHUE — The economic impact of the Lihue Baseball League was felt Saturday morning.
“You should have seen the lines at Starbuck’s,” said Christina Gabriel, general manager of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club. “The kids in all their different uniforms wrapped around the building. I had to go elsewhere for my cup of coffee.”
Another shopper said teams in different uniforms were picking up lunch at Po’s Kitchen in Lihue, while others browsed through the Kauai Community Market at the Kauai Community College.
“These players have families who stay at hotels, eat at local restaurants, and shop at local stores,” Gabriel said. “It definitely has an impact on the local economy.”
Lenny Rapozo, director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, has a son playing with the Lihue Pirates, one of 40 teams involved in the tournament.
“Betty Dela Cruz-Acob is in charge of the tournament this year,” Rapozo said. “Her son also plays with the Pirates, but she stepped up after the people in charge left. This is her first year doing it, so the parks people did a lot to help her.”
Gabriel was also helping Dela Cruz-Acob because of her job at the Waiohai.
“There are about 40 teams playing in different fields,” Rapozo said. “On Sunday, LBL hosts a luau for the teams following play during the day, and the championship games take place, Monday.”
The public is invited to view the competition at no charge at one of three fields at the Lihue County Park located behind the Boys & Girls Club, Lihue facility, and behind the state Department of Health building. There is a food booth to accomodate appetites as well as a logo shop featuring Da Bash gear.