Hot Shots 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Brings in Big Bucks - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hot Shots 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Brings in Big Bucks

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YAKIMA, Wash.--It is not very often that Cassie Gordon sees an extra 5000 people walking the streets in front of her Market Place Deli on Yakima Avenue.   But the Hot Shots Tournament brings just that.

"It was [a bigger crowd] than a normal Saturday that's for sure," Gordon said.  "This is tremendous business compared to the Farmer's Market crowd."

The Market Place Deli is just one of the many businesses that thrive during the Hot Shots tournament.   Some even have to work a little overtime.

"Usually on Saturday and Sunday we close at 12," said Mary Schroeder, who works at the Downtown Bistro.  "This weekend we've been open til 1:30, two o'clock, so it helps business out a lot."

All that basketball can work up quite an appetite.   And those watching sometimes need a change of pace.

"Those folks have to eat, they have to do a little shopping while they're here and the ones from out of town have to stay in hotels," said Tournament Director Rich Austin.  "We think it does bring a significant economic impact to the Yakima Valley."

Austin said that it is tough to calculate the tournament's impact in dollars.   But several businesses have told him they have had their best days during past tournaments.   With a larger than ever crowd, this year looks to be no different.

"It's a pretty significant amount when you do include those people who come in and eat, get gas, do a little shopping and then you add in the people that stay in hotels," said Austin.

Austin hopes Hot Shots gets Yakima's name out there.

"We're also hoping to expose them to the downtown Yakima core, what businesses are new here, the renovations that have gone on.  "Then maybe when they need to go on vacation or they need to get away for the weekend, they'll choose Yakima rather than someplace else."

The Hot Shots tournament does a lot for the Yakima community.  But Mary Schroeder thinks just one tournament isn't enough.

"I think we should have more of em."

Tournament director Rich Austin said people came all the way from Idaho and Oregon this year. 

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