Hotels in and around Meridian being sold out is a good sign that the State Games of Mississippi have officially begun.
"The whole staff is energized because you got all the young youth that are ready to play soccer and softball," said Steve Anderson, general manager of Hilton Garden Inn. "They are here for breakfast and we are running around trying to serve them, and then trying to make their stay as nice as possible and accommodating."
In the last few hours before the guests arrive, hotel staff were preparing the hospitality room with snacks and drinks for the many athletes and their families.
Meanwhile, in downtown Meridian, the staff behind the Games met with fire, police and homeland security to make sure all the loose ends are tied up.
"We've been working out the traffic plans on what streets will be closed, when they will be closed, what we will do in different scenarios, just getting prepared for that," said homeland security director, Tim Miller.
But one thing organizers know for sure is that thousands of people will soon be in Meridian, and their presence will definitely be known by the hotels, restaurants, and stores.
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*CG Name CAROLYN SMITH
STATE GAMES VICE PRESIDENT
We had a lady last year that shopped in one of our shops last year, she said she didn't know it was here and will be here next year to shop and this is what we need in downtown Meridian.
8-to ten thousand people are expected to attend the ceremonies along with the many athletes participating.