Rockford's Economy Gets a Boost for the Weekend

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

A wrestling tournament in Rockford this weekend is expected to bring in some big bucks to boost the local economy. Some downtown businesses say their profits have already doubled.

Nearly 1,000 youth wrestlers from across the state are in town this weekend and for some downtown businesses that means they're seeing nothing but dollar signs.

After a day full of reversals and take downs at the Metro Center these wrestlers are ready to pin down some food, so right across the street a local sub shop says the lines have looked like this all day.

"Chaotic and busy, it's been lined up like this all day, we've hardly had any time when there's not a line," said Shelby Miller, manager of Quizno's Subs on Elm Street.

All told the state championship tournament is expected to bring in almost a million dollars to the local economy.

"For every hotel room we sell, about $135 are spent at the hotel, restaurants, gas and shopping and that kind of thing," said the President of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wendy Fisher.

But getting an event like this to come to Rockford didn't happen overnight. Fisher says it took about seven years of persistence. But now she says the timing couldn't be any better.

"It's been fabulous. It's a fabulous time of year because business is slow everywhere right now. It's great," said Fisher.

Miller says it's great until you start running out of bread or, "Chicken, we were out of chicken so we had to run back and get some more. But it's been fun. It's been on the go."

Miller says that her shop will be staying open extra hours to meet the needs of all the hungry wrestlers and their families.

This year's tournament is the first of a three-year commitment the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation has made to the Rockford Region.


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