Tournament Bringing in Big Bucks For Local Economy

"A way lot more than normal! They were gassing up with fuel for their boats and their vehicles," said Contina Colton, a Howdys employee.

Contina works part time at Howdys, a small gas station near Lake Sam Rayburn, and since the bass tournament began, she has seen a huge increase in business. On the average she says about 30 cars pass through per hour, but on the day before the tournament, more people began rolling in.

"Thursday it was way more than 30 or 40, it was like maybe 100 or more. Business has been good, it really has. Before she could even get the door open, she said people was already getting out of their cars. She didn't even have time to really count her money, it's like people were ready to come in," said Contina.

Ready to come in and pick up the essentials of fishing.

"We go through a lot of ice, a lot of ice, and we fill a lot of minnows and worms, and business is good," said Contina.

That's one of the reasons organizers say they come to East Texas to put on the tournament.

"The economic impact of what events do like this for East Texas is just unbelievable, and this is at the new Umpfrey family pavilion. This is one of the reasons why this pavilion was brought here, so events like this could be brought here. Also the economic development would spread all the way to Lufkin, the surrounding areas and stuff," said Bob Sealy, the tournament's producer.

Hopefully the boost to the local economy will only get better as the tournament progresses to the big winner payoff day.