Fishing tournament benefits runneth over
With thousands of people attending the 2015 Bassmaster Elite series tournament in Orange, it would make sense that some of them would need a place to eat, or sleep, or shop.
Many Orange County businesses contacted reported an upturn in traffic last week, even if they didn’t have specific numbers.
For instance, Bruce Self, owner of Burger Town in Orangefield, said he already noticed a slight increase in traffic on Thursday.
He added, though, the foot traffic always depended on the weather conditions.
Self said he saw an increase in 2013 when the fishing tournament was last held.
“The people came in then,” he said. “Business has been good overall.”
Self said he’s also involved in the community through Little League baseball and people know him.
Peggy Abair of Peggy’s on the Bayou in Bridge City said they have steadily been busy all weekend.
In fact, one Bassmaster fisherman and ESPN personnel ate at the restaurant.
“We’ve been getting out-of-towners. Even from Detroit, Mississippi, Alabama and Wisconsin,” Abair said. “It’s a little bit better this time. I hope they come back real soon. Every year.”
Emily Lee, front desk supervisor for LaQuinta in Bridge City, said said her motel is full because of the tournament as it was two years ago when it was held.
They, also, have seen an increase in revenue and occupancy.
Bonnie Kendrick, manager at Beall’s Department Store in Orange, said it’s been a good week for them with lots of new people coming into the store, particularly out-of-towners.
“They couldn’t say enough good things about Orange. Our sales were up five percent,” she said.
Kendrick said her store had about the same numbers two years ago.
Dianne Richoux is the assistant manager at Walmart in Bridge City.
She said sales are better for that week and she also seen several new faces in the store purchasing fishing licenses.
Last but not least, Patricia Pitcock, general manager of Showbiz Cinemas theater in Orange, said she noticed an increase in business on Saturday night after the Tracy Byrd concert was canceled due to rain. Additionally, a new movie came to the theater the same night.
Burger Town in Orangefield, as with other Orange County businesses, saw an increase in sales and foot traffic last week as the Bassmaster Elite Series fishing tournament was held in Orange.
RECORD PHOTO: David Ball