|Updated: 3/05/2012 4:57 am
||Published: 3/05/2012 4:52 am
HOT SPRINGS, AR - Thousands of people were in Hot Springs this weekend for the Sun Belt Basketball tournament. That means local hotels and restaurants saw a big boost in business.
The Sun Belt Tournament marks the beginning of the tourist season for Hot Springs.
"This weekend has been crazy we're full every that's not unusual here at the all seasons but you get a lot of people coming in talking about who is winning and who is losing stuff like that so a lot of excitement," says Corey Stacey from the All Seasons Lodge
The Sun Belt basketball tournament brings thousands of people to hot springs who spend millions of dollars over the 4 day event.
"I have people in here one or two at a time then the phone starts ringing people want to rent a room they're asking questions it's pretty crazy,” said Stacey.
At Rod's Pizza Cellar, employees started preparing for the crowds days ago ordering more sauce, more cheese and adding additional staff.
"It's been fantastic. We've had a full house all weekend, it's been wonderful. Lots of people coming in and going out it’s been great for business," said Candice Keys.
It's good to be busy making money and racking up tips. Many customers are veterans of the tournament and repeat patrons at Rod's Pizza Cellar.
"We had a few of those who came back again. It was great last year, was great this year. t is great you see familiar faces people who say they just had to come back and eat its wonderful,” said Keyes.
A great start to kick off tourist season businesses hope lasts all summer long.