Orange is fishing for big dollars with the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament -- The Sabine River Challenge in March. More than 700 visitors are expected for the event.
According to an economic impact study the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce had prepared, The Sabine River challenge is expected to bring more than $1.3 million into the area Just in those four days of the tournament.
Come the middle of March you'll see plenty of boats on the Sabine River for The Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament- The Sabine River Challenge.
Mike LaMoin owns Spanky's Bar and Grill. He tells 12News, "You're talking about the 100 top fishermen in town with their supporting cast, their families. You're going to have all the marshals, that's another 100 people right there."
As the anglers reel in their catches, Orange business owners hope to reel in some money too.
LeMoin says he's already preparing for the influx of customers, "We have our staff set to where we will be at maximum capacity the week of the Bassmasters for sure."
The Bassmaster tournament is expected to generate $461,790 in retail sales and $74,000 in gas and diesel sales. Plus visitors are expected to spend $296,865 on hotel rooms. When you include the media impact that brings the total economic impact of the tournament to $1,321,455.
LeMoin says, "I would say that's conservative. I think it's going to be better than that."
Kelly Morphew and her husband own E House Inn Bed and Breakfast and she's booked for that week of the tournament. Morphew says, "Once they get here and once they get inside their rooms that they enjoy it, that's its an extra part of what goes on in Orange and this is a place that they relax and they want to come back. It's just a place that brings back warm memories."
Those memories everyone we spoke with, hopes will allow them to catch a few new customers.
In addition to the tournament, Art in the Park, Riverfest with Neal Mccoy in concert Saturday night. It's all happening the weekend.
Stark Cultural Venues is the title sponsor of the tournament and was a big factor in getting the tournament to this area. This is the season opener for the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series.
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