The holidays usually mean a slow season for some local businesses. However, events like the Florida High School Athletic Association Football State Championship games help keep them busy.
Visit Tallahassee is expecting nearly half a million dollars in direct spending from the games this weekend, leading to a much-needed boost in sales for some local businesses.
"It's super exciting. We know how much football means in this community so to be able to bring this really high level of a championship to Tallahassee is really special," said Zornes.
Senior Sales and Sports Director at Visit Tallahassee Ryan Zornes is excited to host the FHSAA Football State Championships in the Capital City for the fourth year in a row. Eight teams from around the state will be facing off in the three-day championship games at Gene Cox Stadium.
Zornes is happy to welcome more teams this year after another game was added. "In the past, this had been a three-championship event for us. When the FHSAA went through their restructuring this past year, a fourth game was added so that's actually why we have the double header on Saturday. So, for us, it's tremendous growth," said Zornes.
Visit Tallahassee is expecting over 5,000 people to travel for the four championship games, which will result in over half a million dollars in direct spending for our local economy.
More people traveling for these games means more revenue for hotels in town. Events Manager at the Courtyard Marriott of Apalachee Parkway Douglas Jackson said they normally have teams stay with them for cross country meets, football and baseball games.
He said the sporting events that come into town helps them out tremendously, especially coming out of the pandemic. "It gives us the business that we need so that we can hire many in the community. You know right now there's a season where people are looking for jobs and because of the business coming back in we're able to offer other opportunities," said Jackson.
The Courtyard Marriott isn't the only place benefiting from more business. Assistant General Manager at the Iron Daisy off Gaines Street Michael Mello loves being able to see new faces and welcome them to Tallahassee.
He said events like the football state championships help him do that and stay busy year-round. "Over the holiday's we're really slow so it helps us get more money in and we all survive off of tips and stuff so that really helps too, just more people more business," said Mello.
Mello said they usually see less people come in once the semester is over and college students go home for the holidays. That's why sporting events like this one are coming to town at a good time.