The Wichita Falls economy is getting a boost this week as hundreds of young golfers hit the town with their parents for the Texas Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament at the Champions Course at Weeks Park. During the day more than 300 players and their families are walking the greens at area golf courses. But once tournament play ends, those families are filling hotels and restaurants and spending money; This in turn is boosting the local economy.
Young golfers from all over the world are in Wichita Falls this week. Competitors from Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and even Scotland and Mexico are filling hotels and spending cash when they get the chance. Mexico City T.O. Junior Golf Tournament Competitor Mariana Secades says, "We're staying at the Hampton Inn. It's in a great location because it's close to all the courses. And next door there's a mall we've been going to everyday." Hotels have beds filled all through the week for the T.O. Junior Golf Tournament. Hampton Inn Receptionist Pamela Barry says, "We're really happy that this week we've been able to get about 75 percent of our hotel filled by the participants in the Texas Oklahoma Golf Tournament."
Marriott Courtyard Representative Stephanie Barritt says, "Roughly about one third of our occupancy right now is from the golf tournament over the past couple of days. And that includes the golfers and their families. It's very interesting to see them all walking around here." But hotels aren't the only businesses working harder this week. Many area restaurants are filling up with new customers ready to spend money. Hunan Chinese Restaurant Server Ly Truong says, "We do have some increases this week, about 10 percent. We have some older customers and we have some new faces too." And it's those new faces keeping a Texoma tradition alive.
Competitors all the way from Mexico City came to this tournament. Alejandra Arellano says, "We're coming from Mexico, the flight was two hours." Mariana Secades says, "It took us a while to rent the trucks because we're a very big group. And it's been very fun. We've gone out to eat to delicious places like Olive Garden." And Yolanda Rotzinger says, "It's the first time the three of us participate in this tournament. And it's been awesome. We've all loved it." The Competition is in its second day and will have its final round this Thursday. Businesses tell Newschannel 6 they are happy to see new and returning golfers and their parents in town this week. They say they are looking forward to take care of them again next year.