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Downtown Merchants Ready To Cash In With Opening of Airborne Museum

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FAYETTEVILLE — The city of Fayetteville has been looking forward to Wednesday's opening of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum for more than 15 years. For downtown businesses, more visitors to the museum means more money.

Horne's Deli and Cafe has a long tradition in Fayetteville. However, owner Ronnie Vinton is virtually a newcomer.

For eight months, Vinton has managed the downtown restaurant and has seen his business grow. He now wants to see even more.

"Oh yeah! We're ready," he says. "That's all we've been waiting for -- the museum to open. I hope we get plenty of hungry people."

The museum is expected to bring lots of visitors to the downtown area, along with their appetites.

"I think that Fayetteville, downtown Fayetteville -- in total, Cumberland County as well as the state will feel an impact from the museum's being here," says museum executive director Sandy Klotz.

Klotz says the museum does not sell any food or drinks so visitors will have to look elsewhere if they want to eat.

Vinton hopes those visitors will be going to downtown Hay Street.

"It will let a lot of people know who didn't know we're here," he says.

Some downtown businesses are so geared up for Wednesday's big event that they have posted welcome signs in the windows. They are also advertising lunch specials for the day.