It's an exciting time for amateur athletes in Mississippi, the opening ceremony for the State games of Mississippi in Meridian. Businesses also benefit greatly from thousands of tourists who stay in Meridian and surrounding counties.
Hotels see their business boom. The brand new Hilton Garden Inn hasn't even held its grad opening yet. But general manager Steve Anderson said he expects it will be packed.
"We're anticipating being full we already have rooms booked and we plan on having the rest booked by the end of the week," said Anderson.
Anderson said his staff is ready to accommodate the crowds and has been working in over-drive to have the hotel ready in time for the State Games.
An expected 20,000 visitors will also eat out and shop here, so other businesses feel the impact.
About 7,000 athletes are expected to participate in the opening ceremony Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium.