Business owners, athletes excited for NHPA world tournament

Business owners, athletes excited for NHPA world tournament

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Wichita Falls has become the first city to welcome the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association World Tournament to the lone star state.

It’s a big tournament that’s had the city pumped since it was first announced in 2017.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us 971 athletes registered for the tournament and most competitors will make a vacation out of the two-week-long event.

They estimate an average spending per day of $175. Therefore, local businesses like Gutierrez Restaurant are ready to serve and meet new customers.

“We would benefit because a lot of people do like to come to mom and pop shops and we are located a couple of blocks away,” said Priscilla Villegas, the manager at Gutierrez. “It’s a new crowd, so new people will be coming that haven’t tried us, so hopefully next year they will start to come more and bring their friends.”

With the help of volunteers and inmates from the Wichita County Jail, the horseshoe pits were filled with clay and installed at the Kay Yeager Coliseum and Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall before 3 p.m. on Friday.

"{We are} overwhelmed with the amount of support that's been here in Wichita Falls and we can't stress it enough, we hope that they will bid in the future," said Dalton Rakestraw, the fifth president for the NHPA.

The official opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The public is welcomed to come and watch the tournament for free.

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