Valiant Shield has positive impact on economy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Valiant Shield has positive impact on economy

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - With about 18,000 uniformed service members participating in the Valiant Shield exercise several local businesses in the Tumon  are seeing a positive impact on their sales.

Businesses such as The Garage and Cest La Vie, where assistant manager Charice Paulino said, "We actually have a lot more military members coming in daily just to unwind enjoy our food our different imported beer selections watch football now during the day so we actually see a lot more people during the day because of this exercise they come in during their off time and enjoy everything we have to offer."

And while 18,000 uniformed service members is a lot Guam Hotel and Resturant Association president Mary Rhodes assures that not all of them are here at one time, saying, "A lot of the military personnel that are here as transients where they are moving in and out of Guam they are rotated through so not all of them are actually on the island a lot of them are out in the water and they get transported in for their liberty time."

For those that are here the impact to our island economy can be seen as hotels are filling up with military service members. "Not just for the economy but to our Department of Defense and our capabilities as an island especially since we continue to work towards this buildup so It's very important when we have these exercises," said Rhodes. She says because the service members are being rotated the impact is not at one time but there is a challenge and according to Rhodes that is during peak season.

"The only challenges is of course is during our peak period when we have a lot of visitors here on our island and especially as tourism continues to grow its always a challenge so we have tried as an industry to try to work with our department of defense officials so that we can try to organize these events during our non peak season," she said.

Peak season or not military service members are still welcomed to enjoy their down time cruising the island and taking advantage of the many activities Guam  has to offer. "We are very happy Guam has always been a huge supporter of the military exercises here on Guam it's an opportunity where we can actually see the impact to the economy," she said.

Paulino added, "They really just come in to enjoy most of their time off ...we welcome them everyday whenever they are off."
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